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INTRODUCTORY (1861-1865) I 




first EXPERIENCES hS k SOLDIER — THE war with 

MEXICO (1S43-1848) 24 



FARMER AND TRADER (1848-1861) . . 46 


TEERS (JULY AND AUGUST, l86l) ... 65 


vi Contents. 



TEMBER- DECEMBER, 1 86 1 ) . . . . 8o 


ARY AND FEBRUARY, 1862) .... 96 

( HAi ii:r viii. 


6-7, 1862) 117 

I HAP Ml: l\. 

OC . f l862) . . . . . I37 

CHAP1 1:1; \. 


1862 — JULY, 1863) ...... 152 


[NCIDEN1 S Of nil- 01 VH KS R- 

TUNl IORY ( [863) . . . 177 



(august, 1863-FEBRLARY, 1864) . . 194 



Contents, vii 




,s (may 4-7, 1864) 238 



(may 4, 1864-MARCH, 1865) .... 259 


FOR PEACE (MAY, 1864- 1 I BRU \RY, 1865) . 284 



(MARCH— APRIL, 1865) 305 


collapse of the confederacy — mustering out 

(april-may, 1865) 326 


TIES SECRETARY OF WAR (1865-186S) . 341 




OF SENATOR SUMNER (1868-1872) . . . 361 




(1870-1873) 382 

viii Contents. 



— ELECTION OF HAYES (1873-1876) . . 402 



ABROAD (MARCH, I 87 J-SEPTEMBER, 1879) . 423 



1885) 441 












From a photograph by W. J. Wilson. 






3 26 
33 6 
3 6 4 

* Reproduced with permission from Camp Fire and Battlefield, 
published by Messrs. Knight & Brown, New York. 




1 861-1865. 

URING four years of civil strife, from 
1861 to 1865, more than three millions 
of Americans — North and South — 
wore the uniform of the soldier, and 
in over twenty-two hundred and fifty 
recorded battles and skirmishes nearly half a mil- 
lion suffered wounds or death.' Theories of peace, 
founded upon a government by the people, have 
not saved us from contributing our full share to the 
battle roll of the century. 

For this loss we find compensation in the fact that 
these years of conflict, of suffering, and of death, 
formed an heroic period in American history. Indi- 
vidual selfishness was largely absorbed in the larger 
self-interest of State and Country. The young men 
of America (the average age of the soldier being 
twenty-five years) received in this experience a 


2 Ulysses S. Grant* ci86i 

schooling in endurance and self-control such as a 
lifetime of routine could not have secured for them. 
The spirit of heroism and self-sacrifice was the trans- 
forming genius of the time. Under its influence, 
we, as a nation, put away childish things. Petulance, 
and nervous dread of foreign Criticism, gave place to 
tin- calm confidence of strength, and with the applause 
of the world came comparative indifference to the 
world's approval. The United State-, for the first 

time in its history, was universally recognised as 
something more than a graphical expression. 

It is natural | k SS the hero «.f each historic 

movement some man who, i than any other, 

represents the spirit of his time. However opinions 
may differ as to the relative merits in a Strictly mili- 
tary sense of the men who led <>ur troops to battle, 
few will dispute the fad that the chief representative 
of the Union armies was {']-. Simpson Grant. 

A was said by General SI. . his principal 

competitor for the first | Each epoch creates 

and General Grant more nearly than 
any other man imp \merican character 

of 1861-65. He will stand, therefore, as the typical 
hero of the great Civil War of America of the nine- 
teenth century." 

To the success of Grant, and hence to his fame, so 
many contributed that it is impossible to assign to 
each his due measure of recognition, or to do more 
than present the result of their united efforts, as it 
appears in this story of the Great Leader. No man 
understood better than did General Grant his indebt- 
edness to others ; no one could be more ready to 


1865] Introductory. 3 

acknowledge it than was he. " If there is any quality 
for which General Grant is particularly character- 
ised," said his comrade Burnside, " it is that of mag- 
nanimity. He is one of the most magnanimous men 
I ever knew. He is entirely unambitious and un- 

How it happened that a man so free from the pas- 
sions supposed to dominate the soldier succeeded in 
the great game of war, where so many others failed, 
it is my purpose to show. If he could not have ac- 
complished what he did without the help of many, 
it is equally true that their united efforts would 
have fallen short of a successful result except through 
his direction. His was the brain that so co-ordinated 
the action of the numberless organisations and indi- 
viduals forming the great Armies of the Republic 
that they advanced in triumph to the end. 




HE Valley of the Ohio River early 
attracted the attention of the soldiers 
of the Revolution, and especially of 
Washington, whose youthful expe- 
riences as a surveyor had made 
him familiar with the beauty and the natural re- 
sources of that region. " If driven from the At- 
lantic seaboard," he once said to his officers, "we 
will retire to the Valley of the Ohio, and there 
we shall be free." Many discharged soldiers 
settled in Ohio after the War of Independence, and 
Lafayette, when he visited that State in 182$, 
said of these pioneers : " I know them well. I saw 
them fight the battles of their country at Long 
Island, Brandywine, Yorktown, and many other 
places. They were the bravest of the brave. Bet- 
ter men never lived." 

One of the Revolutionary soldiers who moved to 
the Connecticut Reserve in Ohio in 1800 was Noah 
Grant. He was the father of Jesse Root Grant, and 

1822-43] Birth, Ancestry, and Education, 5 

the eldest son of Jesse was Hiram Ulysses Grant, 
born at Point Pleasant, Clermont County, Ohio, 
April 27, 1822. Noah Grant was born in Tolland, 
Connecticut, June 20, 1748, and was the sixth in 
descent from Matthew Grant, the pioneer. Matthew 
is supposed to have been one of the " West Coun- 
try " or " Dorchester Men " who came from England 
to Massachusetts with Winthrop in 1630. He first 
settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts, and removed 
to Windsor, Connecticut, in October, 1635, where he 
was one of the early members of what is now the 
oldest evangelical church in America, and, except 
the Southwark church, London, the oldest or- 
thodox Congregational church in the world. Its 
orthodox influence descended through successive 
generations of Grants, in which Scriptural names 

The surname of Grant is of great antiquity in 
Scotland and its earliest history is lost in traditionary 
uncertainty, but the speculations that associate 
Matthew Grant with the Scottish clan are much too 
vague to find a place in authentic history. General 
Grant could properly claim in his own right the 
motto borne by the clan Grant: " Stand fast — stand 
sure," but there is no proof that it pertained to him 
by the law of inheritance. There is a tradition in 
the family that they are of Scotch descent, but it is 
only a tradition. 

The death in 1805 of Captain Noah Grant's sec- 
ond wife, the grandmother of Ulysses, left to the be- 
reaved husband the care of seven children. He had 
not prospered in the world, and he abandoned the 

6 Ulysses S. Grant H822- 

struggle to maintain a home for them, going with his 
two youngest children to live with his son Peter in 
Maysville, Kentucky. The other children were dis- 
tributed among families in the neighbourhood of his 
old home at Deerfield, Ohio. Jesse Root Grant, 
who was born January 25, 1794, was at this time 
eleven years old. He was taken care of by George 
Tod, a native of Connecticut, who served with credit 
during the War of 18 12, and was afterwards an Ohio 
judge. From Judge Tod and his wife, who lived at 
Youngstown, Ohio, some twenty miles from Deer- 
field, Jesse received all the tender care of parents, un- 
til he left them to learn a trade with his brother Peter, 
who owned a tannery in Maysville. He afterwards 
returned to Deerfield and lived with Owen Brown, 
the father of John Brown of Ossawatomie. 

Jesse Grant's learning in the schools was limited to a 
year's instruction, but he was a constant reader and 
a close observer, and he educated himself sufficient- 
ly to obtain local reputation as a newspaper con- 
tributor and a poet, and also as a village debater 
and a very active man in politics. He was distin- 
guished by great physical and mental activity, was 
somewhat eccentric, and had a fine presence, being 
only a little short of six feet in height. In June 
24, 1 82 1, he married Hannah, the daughter of John 
Simpson, a Pennsylvania farmer who, after her birth, 
moved to Clermont County, Ohio, from Montgomery 
County, Pennsylvania. 

Mrs. Grant is described as comely, modest, and 
unselfish ; full of good sense ; a woman of strong 
religious convictions, and a devout Methodist. Her 

1843] Birth, Ancestry, and Education, 7 

ancestors for several generations were Americans, 
chiefly " solicitous as to their standing in regard to 
integrity, veracity, and independence." Of Mrs. 
Grant her husband said : " Her steadiness, firmness, 
and strength of character have been the stay of the 
family through life. She was always careful, and 
most watchful over her children ; but never austere, 
and not opposed to their free participation in in- 
nocent amusements." She was a devoted and con- 
sistent member of her church, and until the day of 
his death, Ulysses never ceased to reverence the 
religion of his mother. From her he derived some 
of his strongest traits of character : his reticence and 
self-control ; his modesty and self-abnegation ; his 
patience and equanimity. His capacity for expres- 
sion came from the Grants. His grandfather, Noah, 
is described as a man of great conversational ability, 
and his father was much given to speech. 

When the first man-child was born to Jesse and 
Hannah Grant, there was much speculation as to an 
appropriate name for him. The mother wished to 
honor her native State by calling him Albert Gallatin. 
Theodore and Hiram were also proposed, and Mrs. 
Grant's step-mother, who had been reading Tele- 
machus, favored Ulysses. The character of the Greek 
warrior as pictured by Fenelon admirably fitted that 
of the coming hero; "his heart is an unfathomable 
depth ; his secret lies beyond the line of subtlety and 
fraud ; he is the friend of truth ; saying nothing that 
is false, but, when it is necessary, conceding what is 
true ; his wisdom is, as it were, a seal upon his lips, 
which is never broken but foran important purpose." 

8 Ulysses S. Grant 11822- 

The question of a name was finally determined by 
the decision of the father. 

Jesse Grant was an energetic man of business who 
prospered during most of his life and who was able 
to give to his family advantages of instruction which 
he had never himself enjoyed. When he married, 
at the age of twenty-five, he was considered the most 
successful man in Ravenna, Ohio, where he then re- 
sided. But the disease of new countries, fever and 
ague, prostrated him, reverses overtook him, and he 
moved to Point Pleasant, where his eldest son was 
born during this period of misfortune. The Grant 
home at that time was in a one-story wooden build- 
ing with a sloping roof, having a large chimney on 
the outside, and a hut-like extension called a " lean 
to " in the rear. The house contained only two 
small rooms ; in one the family slept ; in the other 
they cooked, and ate, and entertained their friends. 
This cottage was removed to Columbus, Ohio, in 
1886, and is there preserved as a relic. 

The name of Point Pleasant suggests the charac- 
ter of the region. It was at that time a hamlet 
with pretensions to metropolitan possibilities be- 
cause of its beautiful location on the Ohio. The 
Grant cottage stood at a bend in the river, giving a 
view up and down its broad stretches, and across to 
the Kentucky shore. 

In 1823, when Ulysses was nearly two years old, his 
father moved to a more comfortable home in George- 
town, on White Oak Creek, a confluent of the Ohio, 
and seven miles back from that river in the adjoining 
county of Brown. Here there was an abundance of 

1843] Birth, Ancestry, and Education. 9 

the bark required for the tannery he had established 
at Georgetown. He was once more on the road to 
prosperity and was able out of the profits of his 
first year's business to build a modest, two-story 
brick house, enlarging it as the needs of his family 
required. Five other children were added to his 
store : Simpson, Clara, Virginia, Orvil L., and Mary 

In this Ohio hamlet, amid a rude and simple peo- 
ple, Ulysses remained for sixteen years ; until he 
was appointed to West Point in 1839. He ls de- 
scribed as being then an ordinary farmer's lad, with 
no marks of distinction other than those revealed to 
paternal eyes. He suffered from the malady of the 
locality — fever and ague — but was otherwise a sturdy 
youth. After receiving the rudiments of education 
at a dame's school, he was transferred to the charge 
of John D. White, a teacher of the old-fashion beech- 
switch variety — a kindly man but a strict disciplin- 
arian, who compelled his pupils to gather each day, 
from a wood hard by, the switches consumed in 
their education. Young Grant was quick to learn 
but was not of a studious habit, and no doubt had his 
full share of experiences of the prevailing method 
of stimulating the brain by counter-irritation. In 
his fifteenth year, during the winter of 1836-37, he 
was sent for one term to the Academy at Maysville, 
Kentucky, across the Ohio, twenty miles from 
Georgetown. This school was kept by Mr. Riche- 
son, who reports that Ulysses ranked high in his 
classes, and that his deportment was exceptionally 
good. In some reminiscences published by Mr. 

io Ulysses S. Grant. H822 

Richeson in 1879, we are to\& that young Grant was 
a member of the Executive Committee of a school 
society, the " Philomathea," and took part in the 
school debates. His appreciation of " the import- 
ance of order, decision, and constancy " at that early 
age is supposed to be shown by these two resolu- 
tions which, according to the records of the school, 
were presented by Ulysses Grant in 1837 : 

11 Resolved, That it be considered out of order for any member to 
speak on the opposite side to that to which he belongs. 

" Resolved, That any member who leaves his seat during debate 
shall be fined not less than d% cents." 

It was the custom of the day to require the child- 
ren even of well-to-do parents to occupy their time 
out of school in some useful employment. Ulysses 
had a boy's preference for play, but he was a dutiful 
lad. He protested, however, so vigorously against 
being compelled to serve in his father's tannery, that 
he was finally given the privilege of devoting himself 
to the farm. His passion for horses made any work in 
which they were employed a pleasure to him. " He 
hoed and mowed, and held the plow"; tended the 
cattle, assisted in sawing wood and hauling it, and 
occupied himself with the " chores " familiar to farmer 
lads. His parents, who were kindly and considerate, 
allowed him full opportunity to engage in boyish 
sports and the simple pastimes of country life: nut- 
ting, berrying, fishing, and hunting in the summer; 
sleigh-riding and coasting down the steep hills bor- 
dering the Ohio River during the winter. Rear 
Admiral Ammen, of the Navy, who was a boy in 

1843] Birth, Ancestry, and Education, i r 

Georgetown at that time, tells of saving Grant to the 
country by dragging him from the swift current of a 
swollen stream into which he had fallen, gorgeously 
arrayed in a Marseilles blouse with red stripes, which 
shared with its wearer in young Ammen's solicitude. 

The precipitous banks of the limestone ledges 
through which the streams had cut their way in the 
vicinity of Georgetown, were covered with a dense 
growth of sugar maple, walnut, and ash ; immense 
sycamores lined the borders of the large streams, 
and the level lands on the summit of the ridges were 
covered with superb beech, hickory, and walnut trees 
fading away into the interminable forests, broken 
only by little clearings, each surrounding a log 
house, the home of some pioneer who had hewn 
a place for himself in the heart of the woods. It 
was a primitive country, and its rustic influences 
long affected the character and habits of the tan- 
ner's son. 

The boy's chief delight was in his father's horses. 
Numerous stories are told of his skill with them 
almost from his cradle. He rode upright standing 
on the horse's back when he was only five years old, 
and when he was nine would tear along the road at 
break-neck speed, standing on one foot and holding 
on by the reins. But he had his misadventures, as 
when he was landed in the middle of a stream by a 
vicious horse which objected to crossing it with a 
boy on his back. 

The father's confidence in his son's skill was so 
complete that he would allow him, when a mere lad, 
to drive his horses seventy miles away to visit friends. 

1 2 Ulysses S. Gran/. [1822- 

Returning one day from one of these long journeys, 
Ulysses traded one of his team for an unbroken 
colt whose first experience En harness nearly re- 
sulted in disaster. The plan of blindfolding the 
horse adopted by this youth of fifteen showed at 
once the daring of the coining soldier and his fer- 
tility in expedients. His tenacity of purpose was 
exhibited when he won the prize in the circus for 
riding the trick mule which had thrown every other 
boy. His fame as a trainer of horses was such that 

the farmers came from a Long distance to get him 

to teach their horses to pace. 

The father of young Grant found that it was use- 
to attempt to transform him into a dealer in 
hides or in any other commodity. He would work 

industriously, and earned ^<> much money that his 
i accumulated to several hundred dollars, but 

he was never keen at a bargain. It is told that on 
one occasion his father gave him fifty dollars, and 
with it permission to buy a horse which the boy 
coveted, saying at the same time the horse was worth 
only forty dollars and should be bought for that 
price if possible. The ingenuous lad repeated his 
father's instructions to the horse dealer who promptly 
discovered that it was impossible t<> sell horse at 
any less price than fifty dollars. Grant tells us in 
his Memoirs that he was eight years old at this 
time, and that he was so unmercifully ridiculed by 
his companions for his simplicity that life was made 
miserable for him. He was destined, later in life, to 
suffer still more severely from his inability to pro- 
tect himself against the selfish arts of trade. 

1643] Birth, Ancestry, and Education. i 


The new study of phrenology was attracting 
much attention in Grant's youth and parents care- 
fully noted the phrenological development of their 
children for auguries of their future. A travelling 
phrenologist who examined the head of Ulysses at 
the age of ten said : " You need not be surprised if 
you see this boy fill the Presidential chair." No one 
who heard the prophecy, except the father, took it 
seriously, and it subjected the son to much raillery 
from his associates. 

He was a self-reliant, honest lad, energetic and in- 
dustrious, but gave no sign of future greatness. 
He was gentle and kindly, and popular, especially 
with young girls, who were secure from rudeness of 
speech or action when in his company. At sixteen 
years of age he gave his father notice that he would 
follow the tanner's business until his majority if it 
was required of him, but he would leave it as soon 
as he became his own master. Asked what he would 
like to do, he answered that he wished to be a 
planter or "a trader down the river," or to get an 
education. The Ohio flows into the Mississippi, 
and the Mississippi into the sea. Up and down the 
river passed the steamers that opened communica- 
tion with the outer world, and beyond it lay that 
great mystery of life, filling the mind of the boy 
with dreams of a possible future. 

In the winter of 1838-39, when Ulysses was in his 
seventeenth year, his father wrote to his member 
of Congress at Washington, the Hon. Thomas L. 
Hamer, and obtained an appointment to the Military 
Academy for his son. Grant tells us that he went 

14 Ulysses S. Grant [1822 

to West Point in accordance with his father's wishes, 
and against his own desire. He had a high idea of 
the requirements of the entrance examination and 
feared lest he be subjected to the shame of failure 
like his predecessor, whose father forbade him to re- 
turn home when he learned the mortifying result of 
his experience at West Point. Aside from this fear, 
Ulysses was willing to go to West Point, if for no 
other reason than because it gave him an opportunity 
to add further to his reputation as "the best trav- 
elled boy in Georgetown." lie does not appear to 
have had any dreams of soldierly ambition, and he 
shared the misconceptions current in an agricultural 
community as to the character of the soldier. He 
was more adventurous than ambitious ; industrious, 
rather than enterprising, and of all careers, that of 
the warrior was the one for which he was seemingly 
fitted least. Gentle in speech and manner; without 
belligerent propensities; anxious to oblige, and un- 
willing to inflict pain, even on dumb animals; never 
at any time in his life able to bear with equanimity 
the sight of blood, or to listen unmoved to the cry 
of distress — who could believe that " Lys " Grant 
had in him the stuff to make 

"... A soldier fit to stand by Caesar 
And give direction " ? 

In asking for young Grant's appointment to the 
Academy, Congressman Hamer had given his name 
as Ulysses S. Grant. Having been entered upon the 
records of the Academy by this name he could not 
get the War Department to change the record. 

1843] Birth, Ancestry y and Education. 15 

Thus Hiram Ulysses Grant became Ulysses Simpson 
Grant, known to his Academy associates as " Sam 
Grant." General Sherman tells of seeing, in 1839, 
when he was a first class man at West Point, " a list 
of new Cadets containing the name of U. S. Grant. 
A crowd of lookers-on read ' United States Grant,' 
'Uncle Sam Grant,' 'Sam Grant'; and 'Sam 
Grant ' he is to-day in the traditions of the corps 
and the Fourth U. S. Infantry." 

A conscientious and industrious boy, Grant found 
no difficulty in obtaining a good standing at the 
Military Academy. His chief trouble was with the 
requirements as to exactitude in dress, for he was 
never a Beau Brummel. His studies during the 
four years' course included landscape drawing; topo- 
graphical and figure drawing; higher mathematics; 
surveying and calculus; French; algebra; military 
and civil engineering ; pyrotechny ; artillery ; infan- 
try and cavalry drill ; electricity ; magnetism ; optics ; 
astronomy ; chemistry ; trigonometry ; mineralogy ; 
rhetoric; moral philosophy; and Kent's Commen- 
taries. » 

Cadet Grant ranked well in most of these studies. 
In French, however, he dropped next to the foot in 
the first year, and was only number forty-four in a 
class of fifty-three the second year. Ethics also 
troubled him and his best record was twenty-eight 
in ethics in a class of thirty-nine. His standing in 
infantry drill was the same, and in artillery drill 
thirty-five. He was sixteen in engineering, and 
seventeen in mineralogy and geology. He stood 
sixteen in mathematics the first year and had risen 

1 6 Ulysses S. Grant. [1822- 

to ten the second year ; the classes in these two years 
numbering over fifty members. 

The total number of cadets in the Academy varied 
between 270 and 233 in each of the four years, and 
Grant stood on the Conduct Roll for the several 
years at 147, 144, 157, 156. In the third year of his 
course he received one-half of the maximum number 
of demerits allowed, and a much smaller number in 
the other years. Demerits are incurred by the 
slightest departure from a system of artificial regula- 
tions, such as leaving a button loose, or shoes unlaced. 
They are no indication of scholarship, though they 
help to determine class standing. Grant appeared 
to the best advantage in the riding hall where he 
surpassed every other cadet in bold horsemanship. 
General James B. Fry, who visited the hall one 
day when he was a candidate for admission to the 
Academy, tells this story : 

" When the regular services were completed, the class, still 
mounted, was formed in a line through the centre of the hall. The 
riding-master placed the leaping-bar higher than a man's head, and 
called out ' < ladet Grant '. ' A clean-faced, slender, blue-eyed young fel- 
low, weighing about one hundred and twenty pounds, dashed from the 
ranks on a powerfully built chestnut-sorrel horse and galloped down 
the opposite side of the hall. As he turned at the farther end and 
came into the stretch across which the bar was placed, the horse in- 
creased his pace, and, measuring his strides for the great leap before 
him, bounded into the air and cleared the bar, carrying his rider as if 
man and beast had been welded together. The spectators were breath- 

"'Very well done, sir!' growled old Herschberger, the riding- 
master, and the class was dismissed and disappeared ; but ' Cadet 
Grant ' remained a living image in my memory. 

" A few months before graduation one of Grant's classmates, James 
A. Hardie, said to his friend and instructor : ' Well, sir, if a great 

1843] Birth, Ancestry, and Education. 1 7 

emergency arises in this country during our lifetime Sam Grant wiU 
be the man to meet it.' If I had heard Hardie's prediction I doubt 
not I should have believed it, for I thought the young man who 
could perform the feat of horsemanship, and who wore a sword 
could do anything." 

A leap of five feet, six and one-half inches, made 
by Cadet Grant on Old York, a horse that no one 
else dared ride, still holds the record at West Point 
for high jumping. To a companion who said, 
" Sam, that horse will kill you some day," Ulysses 
replied: " Well, I can die but once." 

Grant is described at this time as being cheerful, 
even-tempered, amiable, good-natured, and too 
tender-hearted to enjoy the rough fun of the 
Academy at the expense of the latest comers 
known as " plebes." He gave abundant evidence 
of ability, but he did not respond so readily as 
some others to the artificial standards of the cadet 
education, and he never enjoyed those advantages 
of deportment and aristocratic pretension that 
favoured other men of lesser capacity. According to 
his classmate Coppee, he was " a plain, common- 
sense, straightforward youth ; quiet, rather of the old 
head on young shoulders order; shunning notoriety ; 
quite contented, while others were grumbling ; 
taking to his military duties in a very business- 
like manner; not a prominent man in the corps, 
but respected by all and very popular with his 
friends. He exhibited but little enthusiasm in 
anything." Though too good tempered to be 
easily betrayed into a quarrel, it is told of him that 
when an undersized cadet he was compelled to 

1 8 Ulysses S. Grant. [1822- 

take a beating from some larger cadet. He went 
into training and tried it again with the same result. 
A third time he failed, but in his fourth fight with 
the same youth some months later he was the 
victor and gave his antagonist an illustration of 
the maxim that perseverance conquers all things. 
Professor Mahan, his teacher in engineering, says : 

1 Grant is remembered at his alma mater as having a cheery, and 
at the same time firm aspect and ■ prompt, decided manner. His 
class-standing was among that grade which has given to the line of 
the army some of its most valuable officers, like Lyon, Reynolds, 
Sedgwick, etc. Unlike Lee, subsequently to graduating, he had 
none of the aids toward distinction which social position in private 
life and nearness to the commanding general in military life afford. 
He was what we termed a first section man in all his scientific 
■todies; that is, one who accomplishes the full course. He always 
showed himself a clear thinker and ■ steady worker. He belonged 
to the cl*SS of Compactly strong men who went at their task at once, 
and kept at it until they had finished ; never being seen, like the 
slack-twisted class, yawning, lolling on their elbows over their work, 
and looking as if just ready to sink down from mental inanity. 
Grant's round, cheery, boyish face, though marked with character 
and quiet manner, gave no evidence of what he has since shown he 
possesses. His mental machine was of the powerful, low pressure 
class, which condenses its own steam and consumes its own smoke ; 
and which pushes steadily forward and drives all obstacles before it." 

Professor Davies is reported as saying the night 
after Grant's graduation : " I tell you that the 
smartest man in the class is little Grant." Early in 
the war, General Ewell of the Confederate Service, 
who was with Grant at the Academy, said : " There 
is one West Pointer, I mean in Missouri, whom I 
hope the Northern people will not find out. I mean 
Sam Grant. I knew him well at the Academy, 

1843] Birth, Ancestry, and Education. 1 9 

and in Mexico. I should fear him more than any 
of their officers I have yet heard of. He is not a 
man of genius, but he is clear-headed, quick, and 

Among Cadet Grant's accomplishments were 
drawing and painting. Some very creditable illus- 
trations of his work are still in existence. One 
picture is in the possession of the Borie family, of 
Philadelphia, and another belongs to Mr. W. E. 
Rothery, a merchant of Camden, N. J. A journey 
with the mother of Mr. Rothery (n£e Miss Low) 
was one of the romances of Grant's cadet days. 
The picture was given in return for a ring won by 
Grant in a wager that Miss Low would be married 
by the time he graduated. 

Sitting over his camp-fire in front of Petersburg 
one night, General Grant told the writer of this 
biography that his cadet days were filled with 
dreams of a young lady he intended to marry as 
soon as he graduated, and his one thought at West 
Point was of her. The romance ended as do so 
many others, for the young woman did not become 
Mrs. Grant. In the recollection of Mrs. Rothery, 
Cadet Grant was a fine looking, smooth-faced young 
man, with clear eyes and good features ; and in 
the eyes of an impressionable young woman, he 
was chiefly attractive on account of "his splendid 
carriage and soldierly bearing." Somewhat bash- 
ful and reserved, he was never awkward, lacking 
neither a subject of conversation nor readiness of 
speech. Polite literature was a fruitful theme of 
conversation between the young people, for Grant 

20 Ulysses S. Grant. [1822- 

at this time was a great lover of good novels, de- 
vouring those of Buhver, Cooper, Marryat, Scott, 
Lever, Irving, and others. " His most charming 
characteristic, however, was his extreme courtesy ; 
he was full of delicate and kind attentions, not 
less to his aged grandmother, than to the most 
fascinating young woman." Another who knew 

him at that time says : 

" I remember when he made his first visit home after a two years' 
stay at West Point. His cadet suit, white pants, blue jacket, gilt 
buttons and cloth cap, made quite an impression on the youth at 
that time. The impression his reception by the family made upon 
my mind has always been fresh. He cam 1 to my native town, which 
was the end of the stage route and the nearest point to his home. 
I drove him home, and expected to sec, after so long an absence, a 
warm greeting; but it was simply, ' How are you, my son ? ' and 
'How are you, brother?' Ulysses was entirely cool and without 
emotion, the same trait which characterized the General in his after 

During his cadet days Grant and some of his 
chums, twelve in all, formed the T. I. O. — or twelve 
in one — Society, and each wore a ring having these 
mystic letters engraved upon it. This ring was to 
be kept until marriage and then given to the owner's 

During the last six months of his term at the 
Military Academy he suffered severely from a 
cough. This greatly alarmed his family, as two of 
his father's brothers had died of consumption. In 
spite of the fact that his preparations for the closing 
examination were made under discouraging circum- 
stances, he acquitted himself with credit. He had 
had the honour of serving during his third year as 

1843] Birth, Ancestry, and Education, 2 1 

one of the sergeants of the battalion into which the 
corps of cadets is organised. He was not able to 
hold this position, and in his final year at the Acad- 
emy dropped back into the position of private. 

Finally, came that greatest of all days to the grad- 
uate — when he doffs the cadet gray for the army 
blue, and assumes the full dignity of an officer in 
the Army of the United States. Cadet Grant's 
standing was twenty-one in a list of thirty-nine. Of 
those above him who served in the Civil War were 
Franklin and Raynolds of the Engineers; Quinby, 
Peck, Reynolds, Hardie, and Clarke of the Artillery, 
and Augur of the Infantry. One of his classmates, 
Deshon, became a Catholic Priest; three, others 
joined the Confederate Army, and two were cash- 
iered. Grant's ambition was to enter the cavalry, 
but as no one in his class was assigned to that corps 
in the Army, he had no cause to complain when on 
his graduation, July 1, 1843, ne was promoted to 
Brevet Second Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry, a 
regiment organised in 1796. 

When Grant left the Military Academy he was 
much better equipped for the struggle of life than 
are most American youths. He had received what 
was equivalent in mental training to a university 
education, and had had a physical discipline far 
beyond anything known to the college youth at that 
time. In addition to his military training he had 
acquired an excellent knowledge of the history of his 
own country ; he had an unusual mastery of math- 
ematical principles, he was a good English scholar, 
and had been carefully drilled into habits of order 

22 Ulysses S. Grant. [1822 

and systematic work. His experience at the Acad- 
emy had not developed in him a taste for military 
life, and he was so anxious to keep out of the 
Army, if he honourably could, that he viewed with 
secret satisfaction the progress of a bill introduced 
into Congress at that time, to abolish the Military 

In his Memoirs, Grant tells us of his experience 
one day when he was drawn up in line with the 
corps of cadets to be reviewed by the majestic Gen- 
eral Scott, in showy uniform. He says : M I could 
never resemble him in appearance, but I believe 
I did have a presentiment for the moment that some 
day I should occupy his place on review — although 
I had no intention then of remaining in the Army." 

How unlike he was to Scott was shown when this 
presentiment was fulfilled twenty-three years later, 
and as General of the Army (a grade beyond that 
held by Scott) he appeared in the section room of 
the Academy "leaning on the arm of the superin- 
tendent, shrinking and half drawing back, as with 
almost feminine timidity depicted on his face, he 
was led forward to be presented to his old profess- 

At the time Grant was graduated from the Acad- 
emy, he was in doubt whether he should be appointed 
to the Infantry or Dragoons, and delayed ordering 
his uniform ; thus it happened that when he was tem- 
porarily assigned to duty with the Fourth Infantry, 
he was for several weeks deprived of the enjoyment 
of appearing in his full glory as an officer of the 
Army. No uniform ever shines so resplendently in 

1843] Birth, Ancestry \ and Education. 23 

the eyes of an officer and his friends as the one he 
first wears. Even the modest Grant felt the elation 
proper to the occasion, but he was awakened by the 
rude remarks of street urchins to the painful realisa- 
tion of the fact that, even with the aid of a uniform, 
a rather undersized youth, weighing but one hundred 
and seventeen pounds, could not impress the imagi- 
nation of the populace as did the magnificent pro- 
portions of the gigantic Scott. 




I 843-1 848. 

HE two years succeeding Grant's grad- 
uation from the Military Academy 
were occupied with the routine of life 
in garrison and camp. His regiment, 
the Fourth Infantry, was stationed at 
Jefferson Barracks, the largest military post in the 
West. It is situated on a high bluff on the west 
bank of the Mississippi River, ten miles below 
St. Louis. 

At the conclusion of his graduation furlough, 
Brevet Second Lieutenant Grant joined his com- 
pany, and entered upon his first experiences of regi- 
mental life, under the tutelage of that fine old 
soldier, Stephen W. Kearny, a veteran of the War 
of 1 812. Colonel Kearny was a rigid disciplinarian, 
but he was also a liberal-minded gentleman; and he 
gave our young soldier a pleasant impression of 
army life, which his experiences at such an agree- 
able post were adapted to deepen. There were, 




1843-48] Experiences as a Soldier. 25 

however, other sentiments stirring in the heart of 
the youth than ambition for military distinction. 
Large army posts are social centres. The officers 
are usually good dancers: they understand the art 
of entertaining, and they and their families have 
leisure and taste for something besides the dull rou- 
tine of life. Thus are presented all the conditions 
to create a charming social circle. 

Jefferson Barracks was no exception to this rule. 
The entertainments there drew visitors from St. 
Louis and the country around. Among these visit- 
ors was a girl of sixteen, daughter of Colonel Dent, 
a business man of St. Louis, and one of the old 
style of Southern planters in the days of slavery. 
Colonel Dent was the father of Frederick T. Dent, 
Grant's room-mate at the Military Academy, and 
Julia was the eldest of Frederick's three sisters. 
Ulysses had frequent opportunities for meeting her 
at the garrison hops and balls, and, as the nearest 
friend of her brother, he was soon on a familiar 
footing. Acquaintance ripened into friendship, 
and friendship grew into a warmer sentiment, until 
the young woman was obliged to bear the teasing 
of the Army wits, who would inquire solicitously 
after her " little lieutenant with the big epaulets." 

Both of the young people were excellent eques- 
trians, and they soon found abundant excuse for 
long rides in the surrounding country. Miss Dent 
had a love of botany, and flowers must be sought 
in the loneliest paths of the woods. Still more to 
the point, the quick wit and prompt action of her 
lover had rescued her from following her horse when 

26 Ulysses S. Grant. [1843 

the treacherous earth on the bank of the flooded 
Mississippi River gave way under the animal and 
precipitated it into the river. Thus sentiment grew 
apace between Miss Dent and the Lieutenant. 

Contest over the annexation of Texas was devel- 
oping into war, and the crisis came in the affairs of 
love when orders were issued to send the Fourth 
Infantry to Fort Jessup, Louisiana. These orders 
were received at Jefferson Barracks while Grant was 
enjoying a twenty-days' leave on a visit to his fam- 
ily in Ohio, and was beyond the reach of commands. 
Returning, he found that his regiment would be de- 
tained at Fort Jessup and took advantage of a few 
days' extension of his leave to visit the Dent home- 
stead, — an unpretentious country house pleasantly 
situated on the Gravois Road, a few miles from 
the barracks. The impetuous lover was nearly 
drowned in crossing a swollen stream, and had to 
urge his suit in ill-fitting garments, borrowed from 
his classmate Dent ; but he was received with favour, 
and when he returned to his quarters, it was with 
the light heart of an accepted suitor. Another 
twenty-days' leave in May, 1845, g ave him oppor- 
tunity to secure the consent of the parents. Colonel 
Dent's business training did not dispose him to 
look with favour upon a subaltern with an income 
of $779 a year. The mother was kindlier disposed, 
and, with a woman's keener discernment of char- 
acter, she declared that her daughter's lover had a 
noble heart, and would some day attain to greatness. 

Grant's plans for the future contemplated an 
appointment as Assistant Professor of the Military 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier, 27 

Academy ; and a letter received from Professor 
Church, professor of mathematics, satisfied him 
that he would have received this appointment if 
war with Mexico had not changed his purpose. At 
the Academy he would have had an opportunity to 
indulge his taste for domestic life, which always had 
more charm for him than military service. As it 
was, more than four years were destined to elapse 
between the engagement and the marriage. 

Previous to 1836, Texas was a part of the Repub- 
lic of Mexico, and it was claimed by that country 
for ten years longer. The question of its annexa- 
tion to the United States was during this period a 
disturbing element in our politics. The Southern 
States favoured annexation, as it increased their 
political importance by extending the area of slave, 
ry; and the growing anti-slavery sentiment in the 
North was opposed to it for this reason, and be- 
cause annexation would involve a war with Mexico. 
In March, 1845, Texas was brought into the Union 
by a joint resolution of Congress. General Zachary 
Taylor was at that time in command of the First 
Military Department, which included Western 
Louisiana, with headquarters at Fort Jessup, Louisi- 
ana, twenty-five miles from the Texas boundary-line. 
Orders were given to concentrate in the vicinity of 
that post as many as possible of the troops belong- 
ing to our little army, which numbered altogether 
fourteen regiments, with only 5304 men actually on 
the rolls. The Third and Fourth Infantry and 
seven companies of Dragoons were soon on the 
move. The Fourth Infantry was ordered to Grand 

28 Ulysses S. Grant. [1843 

Ecorc, in the vicinity of Fort Jessup, where it 

arrived in July, 1844. 

Instead of enjoying the summer in domestic 
felicity amid the cooling breezes of West Point, as 
he had hoped to do, Lieutenant Grant pitched his 
lonely tent with his regiment in Western Louisiana. 
The camp, known as " Camp Salubrity/' was lo- 
cated on a high, sandy pine ridge midway between 
the Red River and the Sabine. The Fourth Infan- 
try remained lure for a year, or until July, 1S45. 
There was little to do in camp; and much time was 

spent in social interchanges with the planters <>t' the 

Red River country, and the residents of the old 

1 of Natchitoches and Grand Ecore near 1>\\ 

tng Grant passed most of his time out of doors 

and on horseback ; and his health, which had suffered 
from his illness at West Point, was fully restored. 

His next orders took him with his regiment to New 

Orleans Barracks, in July, I S 1 5 . There he rem. lined 
until September, when the regiment was trans- 
ferred in sailing I Corpus Christ i, Texas, at 
the junction of the Nueces River with tide water on 
the Gulf. 

Corpus Christ i Hay. on which were located the 
camps of Taylor's *' Army of Occupation," is two 
hundred miles southwest of Galveston, on the Gulf 
coast. There was excellent salt-water bathing here, 
and fish and game abounded. With their usual 
readiness of resource, the officers were able to find 
abundant amusement while they were waiting three 
months for marching orders. They built a theatre, 
and gained sufficient from public performances to 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier. 29 

fit themselves out with costumes. Grant took part ; 
and his smooth face, boyish figure, and pleasant 
voice led to his selection for the part of Desdemona 
in the play of Othello. Whatever his histrionic 
accomplishments, he did not succeed in exciting 
the proper emotions in the breast of Othello, Lieu- 
tenant Theodoric Porter, brother of David D. Por- 
ter who afterwards became admiral ; and the Moor 
insisted that they should send to New Orleans for 
an actress, who brought with her inspiration for his 

While at Corpus Christi, September 30, 1845, 
Grant received his promotion to Second Lieutenant, 
but escaped a transfer to the Seventh Infantry, to 
which his promotion carried him, by exchanging 
with an officer of that regiment. He was attached 
to the company of Captain George A. McCall, who 
afterwards served under him as a gallant major- 
general of volunteers. 

Time at Corpus Christi was not altogether occu- 
pied with amusement. A level and extended plain 
in the vicinity of the camps enabled the troops to 
indulge in military exercises on a large scale, and 
afforded a rare occasion for drilling the various arms 
of the service together. The concentration of so 
many different commands gave opportunity for 
reviving old acquaintance, forming new ties, and 
bringing the troops into touch with one another 
preparatory to the serious work before them. It 
was a valuable experience for a young officer, and 
Grant took full advantage of it. 

On the 8th of March, 1846, General Taylor broke 

30 Ulysses S. Grant. [1843- 

up his camp at Corpus Christi, and marched one hun- 
dred and twenty-five miles farther south, through 
a low and marshy country, to the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, locating at Point Isabel, near the north 
bank of the river opposite to Matamoras. Here he 
held a critical position in face of an enemy outnum- 
bering him three to one. A movement against 
Matamoras led to a battle on May 8, 1846, on the 
Spacious plain of Palo Alto. This was followed 
the next day by the engagement at Resaca de la 
Palma, or Resaca de Guerriero, four miles from the 

Rio Grande. These two battles decided the con- 
trol of the Rio Grande; and May 18, 1846, Taylor 
crossed that liver into Mexico, and occupied Mata- 
moras. Here he remained until Jul}-, waiting for 
the arrival of steamers, and then moved one hun- 
dred and fifty miles up the river to Camargo, whence 
he proposed to operate against Monterey, the larg- 
est and most important town in Northern Mexico. 
The march from Camargo to Monterey was through 
a dreary desert and under a tropical sun, and was 
made by night as much as possible to escape the 
heat. Meanwhile re-enforcements arrived; and 
when Taylor finally captured Monterey, September 
24, 1846, he had 6645 men, more than one-half of 
them being volunteers. After the surrender of 
Monterey, the Mexicans withdrew three hundred 
miles into the interior to San Luis Potosi ; and as 
no attempt was made to follow them, operations 
were suspended for seven months. 

In the marches and battles carrying the army 
from Corpus Christi, by a roundabout route of four 

t848] Experiences as a Soldier. 31 

hundred miles, into the enemy's country at Mon- 
terey, Grant bore an active and honourable part. 
He was not a mounted officer, but horses were so 
cheap at Corpus Christi that he was able to purchase 
three; and, as they lived off the country, their 
livery bills were not large. Unfortunately, his stud 
all ran away one day when they were being led to 
water; and when his company started on the march 
from the Rio Grande, he was obliged to trudge along 
on foot. A judicious expenditure of five dollars 
soon restored him to the dignity of a mounted offi- 
cer. The country was new, the experiences were 
novel, the enemy were in front; and Grant enjoyed 
this life of adventure, his spirits rising higher as 
danger drew nearer. 

At Palo Alto, Lieutenant Grant had his first 
experience of battle. He frankly admits that he 
did not enjoy it, for it is only the heroes of romance 
who delight in being made a target of. All accounts 
agree, however, in saying that he acquitted himself 
as a soldier should, the first time he was under fire. 
Palo Alto was mainly an artillery fight ; but the 
Fourth Infantry had its full share of killed and 
wounded, and their hearts thrilled with more than 
the joy of victory when General Taylor said to them, 

Gentlemen, you are veterans! " 

At Resaca, Captain McCall was detailed to open 
the attack; and the command of his company fell to 
Grant, who led them into battle in face of the wait- 
ing army. It is a thrilling moment for the young 
soldier when he for the first time takes the initiative 
on the field of battle, and questions with himself 

32 Ulysses S. Grant. [1843 

whether he will prove equal to the great responsi- 
bility. These are moments of moral development 
that determine character. From the file-closer to 
the head of the company is the first step. 

On the march to Monterey, Grant was detailed as 
Regimental Quartermaster and Commissary, and as 
such had charge of the waggons and pack-trains, 
lie understood horses, but now had his first experi- 
ence with the perversity of the army mule. Not 
w the annoy. nice which his mule-teams gave him 
would tempt him to depart from the rule he fol- 
lowed through life, never to use a profane expletive. 
If it be " that which Cometh nit of the man that 
defileth the man," then Grant was singularly blame- 
Less, Whatever his weaknesses, he was pure in 
thought and pure in speech, and never encouraged 

the impropriety of others with even tacit approval. 

It is told that on one occasion when he was in high 
command, an officer who introduced a doubtful 

story by saying, " I see there are no ladies pres- 
ent." was silenced by the cutting reply, " There are 

gentlemen here. " 

The position <»f staff officer relieved Grant from 

the necessity of appearing with his command in 
battle; but nothing could keep him out of a fight. 
As he s.iid in a letter, his parents had taught him 
that the post of danger was the post of duty. 

In the attack on Monterey, September 21, 1846, 
the Adjutant of the Fourth Infantry, Charles Has- 
kins, was killed ; and Grant was temporarily detailed 
to perform his duties, being always thought of when 
a reliable soldier for an emergency was needed. 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier. ^>Z 

By the 23d of September, 1846, Taylor's troops 
had secured possession of the east end of Monterey, 
but had still before them the heavy task of driving 
from the city the Mexicans, who were maintaining a 
galling fire from under protection of the houses. 
Ammunition grew scarce in Garland's Brigade; and 
the General asked if someone would volunteer to 
run the gauntlet of the sharpshooters, and carry 
word of his need to the division commander. He 
declined to give anyone orders to so expose himself. 
Sam " Grant was there, and, almost before the 
want was known, he was flying on his horse through 
the bullet-swept streets of Monterey, like Caius 
Cossus at Lake Regillus — 

"As the wolves of Apennine 
Were all upon his track." 

Adjusting himself on his horse in Indian fashion, 
with one foot on the cantle, and holding to the 
horse's neck with his arms, he dropped on the side 
farthest from the enemy, and started the animal at 
full speed, reaching his destination without being 
injured, and delivering his orders. 

General Wilcox, of the Confederate service, who 
was in Grant's mess at this time, describes him as 
" in manners quiet, plain and unobtrusive, of good 
common sense, with no pretension to genius, or, as 
I believed at that time, to a high order of talent, 
but much esteemed among his immediate assembled 
associates for kindly disposition and many excellent 

34 Ulysses S. Grant. [1843 

But Grant at Monterey gave proof, as did Napo- 
leon in the passage of the bridge of Lodi, that he 
possessed the genius for war. " The occasion," 
said Napoleon of Lodi, '* furnished an opportunity 
for stamping, by some bold stroke, the character of 
my individual actions, and I did not let it escape." 
Quickness of decision, and resolution in action, with 
absolute disregard of personal risks, when the occa- 
sion calls for it, are essential qualities in war. 

Monterey finally surrendered, and the troops re- 
mained there in camp for several months. The 
natives showed a disposition to be friendly; and 
time passed pleasantly until midwinter, when orders 
for the march came. Joseph Jefferson at that time 
belonged to a company of " barn stormers " who 
were trying to make an honest penny out of the 
war, and he appeared at Monterey as member of a 
travelling theatrical company. Grant was from his 
boyhood an enthusiastic lover of the drama, and 
especially of American plays. As he seldom missed 
an opportunity to attend theatrical performances, 
he was no doubt one of the motley crowd of ** sol- 
diers, settlers, gamblers, rag-tag and bob-tail," who, 
as Jefferson tells us in his autobiography, attended 
the old Spanish theatre at Monterey, where he 
played with his band of comedians. 

General Winfield Scott, Taylor's senior officer, 
reached Point Isabel, at the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, towards the end of December, 1846, as- 
sumed command of the Army of Invasion, and 
withdrew from Taylor a portion of his troops. This 
led to the transfer of the Fourth Infantry from 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier. 35 

Twiggs's division of Taylor's Army, to the division 
of General William Worth, assembled at the mouth 
of the Rio Grande for an advance on Vera Cruz. 

At the time the Fourth Infantry received their 
return orders, they had advanced beyond Monterey 
to Saltillo in Mexico, and were on the eve of the 
battle of Buena Vista, which was fought just beyond 
that place. This was the only battle of the Mexican 
War in which Grant did not take part. Reaching 
Camargo, on the Rio Grande, after a hot and dusty 
march of ten days from Saltillo, he embarked with his 
command in steamboats, and descended the river to 
a point eighteen or twenty miles above its mouth. 
Here they went into camp, waiting for the vessels 
which finally took them to Lobos Island, near Vera 
Cruz, one hundred and fifty miles south of the Rio 
Grande. The voyage was a short one ; but the men 
were cooped up for twenty days in a freight steamer 
before they could land, and their situation in that 
hot climate was almost unbearable. At Lobos 
Island they were sent ashore in surf-boats, packed 
like herrings, and subject to the risk of an assault in 
this defenceless position. Fortunately the enemy 
were not suflficiently enterprising to take advantage 
of their opportunity. 

A blockade was established by the Navy, and the 
Army laid siege to the city, the Fourth Infantry 
holding one of the most exposed positions in the 
line of trenches. The siege began March 9th ; and 
on the 28th Vera Cruz surrendered, just one year 
after Taylor appeared on the Rio Grande opposite 
Matamoras. It had been a year of stirring events 

36 Ulysses S. Grant. [1843- 

and ripening experience for Grant, and the results 
of it followed him through life. 

On the 13th of April, 1847, began that memora- 
ble march from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico, 
over the road along which Cortes had led his con- 
quering host more than three hundred years before. 
To the frost-bitten 90ns of the North the march was 
like one through fairyland. Leaving in their rear 
the stately castle of Vera Cruz and the grand moun- 
tains rising near the coast to the lordly height of 
noble ( Orizaba, they advanced step by st «.-p, until at 
Pueblo de los Angeles they stood in awe before the 

solemn grandeur of the lofty volcanic peaks that 
bar th< :t highway north." In the rear of 

Pueblo appeared Orizaba, the " Mountain of the 
St.; the topmost peak <>f M-xio, rising 18,314 

feet above tfc rid in front wail' Popocatepetl, 

Ixtaccihuatl, and Malinchc — a noble trio of snow- 
capped hills. 

The march was a weary one, with the nipping air 
upon the heights, through clouds of alkali dust, 
and at times ankle-deep in mud and water, for this 
was the season of rain. But what compensation 
there was for trials and fatigue, in the grand 
scenery; in the flowers and fruits, excelling in rich- 
ness and variety those of any other country of equal 
extent ; in the picturesque costumes of the rancheros, 
and the beauty of the senoritas! Each hour was a 
delight : it was the romance of war. 

At Cerro Gordo, a pass in the mountains sixty 
miles from Vera Cruz, on April 17-18, 1847, Scott 
had forced his way through the opposing Mexicans, 

a '- 


1848] Experiences as a Soldier. $7 

and made his escape from the deadly tierra caliente, 
where they hoped to confine his army to waste 
away with disease. Now he was in the cooler and 
healthy table-lands at Pueblo ; and here he remained 
for nearly three months, drilling his men on a broad 
plain where 100,000 could manoeuvre. On the 9th 
of August the march was renewed, the men press- 
ing forward in excellent spirits, and full of excite- 
ment at the prospect before them. The following 
day the beautiful valley of the city of Mexico was 
spread at their feet, and wonder succeeded wonder. 

There was still righting to be done before they 
could enter in and possess the land. The rocky hill 
of Chapultepec, with the castle crowning the sum- 
mit, barred access to the two causeways leading into 
the city of Mexico through the Belan Gate and the 
San Cosme " Garita " ; 2, gar it a being a covered 
post occupied by sentinels at an entrance to the city, 
and used for the collection of customs dues. 

As Scott's little army of 7300 men closed around 
Mexico, the battle of Contreras was fought, August 
19, 1847, tne fortified hill with that name being 
carried in seventeen minutes. Churubusco followed 
the next day, succeeded three weeks later, on Sep- 
tember 8th, by the battle of King's Mills, Molinos 
del Rey. The scene of this last battle was a large 
pile of stone buildings near Chapultepec (the hill of 
the grasshopper). These buildings were used for 
shelter by the Mexican troops, and the battle was 
fought under the guns of Chapultepec. 

On the 13th of September, 1847, the heights of 
Chapultepec were carried by a bold assault after a 

38 Ulysses S. Grant. U843- 

bombardment Lasting for many hours. Then came 
the advance along the causeways leading to the city 
gates, under a close fire from artillery and from 
infantry sheltered by breastworks. September 1st, 
Scott entered the city of Mexico in triumph. 

In all of these notable scenes Grant bore an heroic 
part, and an unusually conspicuous one for so young 
)ldier. At Cerro Gordo he stood by the side of 
George B. McClellan, and with the aid of a field- 
glass directed the fire of a battery commanded by 
McClellan. At Molinos del Rey he won a brevet 
which officers most of all covet, for gallant and 
meritorious conduct in battle, and he g. lined an- 
other at Chapultepec. The first brevet w;«s that of 
First Lieutenant, the second that of Captain. Grant 
had received his promotion to full Lieutenant on 
the 8th of September, 1 S47, and he declined the 
brevet of First Lieutenant, partly for this reason, 
and partly because the same brevet had, as he 
thought, been unworthily bestowed on another. 
If," he said, " he is entitled to a brevet, I am not." 
Grant was with the advance at Molinos del Rey, 
and with General Worth in the attack on the suburb 
of San Cosme during the storming of Chapultepec 
on September 13, 1S47. He showed unusual energy, 
enterprise, and sound military judgment at Chapul- 
tepec, where, by a skilful and daring reconnaissance 
he opened the way for an advance along the San 
Cosme road. He took possession of a church, and, 
dragging a howitzer up to the steeple with the aid 
of his men, created great confusion among the ene- 
my by dropping shots among them from this ele- 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier. 39 

vation. This achievement secured from General 
Worth attention such as a general officer seldom 
gives to a subaltern. He sent Lieutenant John C. 
Pemberton of his staff, who became better acquainted 
with Grant at Vicksburg, to express to the young 
officer the great satisfaction he felt at the service 

Grant was one of only two line officers mentioned 
by General Garland in his report upon the action of 
his brigade at Chapultepec. " I must not omit," 
he said, " to call attention to Lieutenant Grant, 
Fourth Infantry, who acquitted himself most nobly 
upon several occasions under my own observation." 

Major Francis Lee, commanding the Fourth In- 
fantry, reported that " Second Lieutenant Grant 
behaved with distinguished gallantry on the 13th 
and 14th." Captain Horace Brooks, Second Artil- 
lery, also spoke of the active part taken by Grant in 
carrying, " after an obstinate resistance, a strong 
field-work, turning the enemy's right." He was 
one of five officers in his regiment who participated 
in all the battles of the war except Buena Vista, 
and his regiment suffered a heavier loss than any 
other. He himself escaped without a scratch. 

After the capture of Chapultepec, Grant had occa- 
sion to visit Colonel Howard, who was in command 
of the castle, and who occupied quarters in the cor- 
ridors, reached by a long, steep flight of stone stairs. 
Finding no hitching-post outside, the lieutenant 
spurred his horse down these steps, and tied him in 
front of Howard's quarters. The apparition of the 
horse in such an unheard-of place was sufficiently as- 

4<D Ulysses S. Grant. [1843- 

tonishing; but the Colonel was still more astonished 
when he saw him climbing the steps, on his return, 
like a cat, with his venturesome rider on his back. 

Grant indulges in some criticisms in his Memoirs 
upon the conduct of the war in Mexico; but he tells 
us at the same time what his Large experience had 
taught him: first, 'that things will seem plainer 
after events have occurred ; second, that the most 
confident critics are those who know least about the 
matter criticised. " 

The Mexicans were badly commanded, and there 
was very little hard fighting during that war, at least 
nothing to be compared with ..hat was seen after- 
wards in our Civil War. " I do not suppose," said 

Grant, " any war was ever fought with reference to 
which SO many romances were invented as the war 
with Mexico." 

Like ni' >st officers < >f our Army at that time, Grant 
was opposed to the annexation of Texas, and believed 
that the war with Mexico was political in its origin, 
and without proper justification. He thought that 
our desire for Mexican territory might have been 
satisfied by peaceable means; and that the Southern 
Rebellion, coming fourteen years later, was the 
direct result of the invasion of Mexico, and a just 
retribution for a war of spoliation. This opinion he 
held through life; and at a later period he was able 
to give effective expression to his interest in Mex- 
ico, and to show his appreciation of the wrong she 
had suffered at our hands in being made the victim 
of the desire which existed at that time for the 
extension of slave territory. 

J848] Experiences as a Soldier. 41 

As the result of the war with Mexico, we secured 
undisturbed possession of a territory equal in extent 
to seventeen States of the size of New York. This 
territory includes California, New Mexico, Arizona, 
Western Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, with their 
immense stores of mineral and agricultural wealth. 

The winter of 1847-48 was a quiet one for the 
Army; but the Quartermaster and Commissary of 
the Fourth Infantry had quite enough to do in 
clothing and feeding a regiment, looking after their 
regimental fund, and providing them with amuse- 
ment. To respond with cheerfulness and alacrity 
to the daily and hourly demands of a garrison of 
idle men is a severe test of any one's ability and 
temper. Our young Quartermaster was faithful, 
industrious, and energetic ; but he was not a man 
of method, and, as he tells us, never could find a 
place for a paper except in his pocket or in the 
hands of a clerk. Still, he was able to give such a 
good account of his service, that he largely increased 
the regimental fund, on which troops depend for 
their luxuries, having had the enterprise to hire a 
baker in Mexico, and to contract with the chief com- 
missary of the Army, on behalf of his regiment, to 
furnish him with a large amount of hard bread. 

He had made every effort to escape quartermas- 
ter's duty, for he wished to be always in the fight- 
ing line; and when he was told that his services 
could not be spared, he still insisted upon his right 
to go into battle with his company. In spite of the 
fact that he was compelled to do double duty, he 
made a record for himself as a regimental quarter- 

42 Ulysses S. Gran/. [1843 

master second to that of no other officer. He met 
with a misfortune, however, for which he was in no 
way responsible, and which is explained in the fol- 
lowing official statement: 

Camp near Jalapa, Mexico. 


About the 6th of June, at Tucabaya, Mexico, I took to Captain 
Gore's room the sum of $io<o, quartermasters funds, to be locked 
up in his trunk for safe keeping, my own chest having previously had 
the lock broken. I also deemed it Mfex t > hare public money in the 
room of some officer who did not disburse public funds, because they 
.1 be less likely to be suspected of haying any considerable 
amount about them. On the night of the 1 6th of June, 1848, as 
shown by the accompanying affidavits, the trunk containing these 
funds was stolen from the tent of Captain (iore while he and Lieu- 
tenant De Kussy, Fourth Infantry, were both sleeping in the tent. 

Signed) U. S. Cram . 

First Lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, 

Regimental Ouartermaster. 

Sworn to before me this 27th day of June, 1848, at camp near 
Jalapa, Mexico. 

(Signed) II . O. W.u 1 | \. 

first Lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, 

Some years afterwards a bill was introduced into 
Congress to relieve Grant fro^i the responsibility for 
the lost funds. A board appointed at the time, at 
his request, to inquire into the matter, completely 
exonerated him from all blame, declaring, after a 
thorough investigation, that he had taken every 
precaution in his power to protect the funds of the 
Government. Though he was not responsible for 
this loss, Grant, when he was able to do so, made 
it good to the Treasury. 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier, 43 

While in the city of Mexico, after its capture, 
Grant joined with other officers in forming the 
Aztec Club. Its first President was Franklin Pierce; 
and of the one hundred and forty-nine original 
members, nearly all bore a distinguished part in the 
Civil War, including McClellan, Hooker, Porter, 
Kearny, Hatch, and Brannan on the one side, and 
Lee, Johnston, Beauregard, Hardee, Ewell, and 
Magruder, on the other side. 

In the spring of 1848 Grant visited Popocatepetl 
with a party of officers, and made the laborious 
ascent of that difficult peak until he could look into 
its rumbling bowels through the crater. He also 
attended a Spanish bull-fight ; but he was too fond 
of horses and too tender-hearted to witness another 
such exhibition. When in Madrid many years later, 
he positively refused to take part in the Spanish 
national pastime. At Corpus Christi, Grant spent 
so much time in studying a map of Mexico he had 
obtained at New Orleans, and in gathering data 
concerning the topography of that country from an 
acquaintance who was thoroughly familiar with it, 
that he was constantly called upon by his superiors 
for information they had not been able to obtain. 
At Matamoras he secured a much more valuable 
map, which had been abandoned by a high officer 
of the Mexican Army in his flight, and reconstructed 
his other map from it, surrendering the original to 
General Scott after the capture of Vera Cruz. Gen- 
eral Taylor, Captain Robert E. Lee, of the engineers, 
other staff officers, and the division and brigade 
commanders were also dependent upon this enter- 

44 Ulysses S. Grant. U843- 

prising and studious second lieutenant for much 
valuable information concerning the country they 
were preparing to invade. 

Major Hamer, who, when a member of Congress, 
had secured Grant's appointment to the Military 
Academy, in a letter from Camargo said: 

"I have found in Lieutenant Cirant a most remarkable and valu- 
able young soldier. I anticipate for him a brilliant future, if he 
should have an opportunity t<> display his powers when they mature. 
Yoilllg as he is, he has been of great value and service to me. To- 
day, after being freed from the duty of wrestling with the problem of 
reducing a train of refractory mules and their drivers to submissive 
r, we rode into the country several miles, and. taking our position 
upon an elevated mound, he explained to nM many army evolutions ; 
and supposing ourselves to be generals commanding opposite armies, 
ami a battle to be in progress, he explained supposititious manoeuvres 
of the opposing forces in a most instructive way ; and when I thought 
his imaginary force hail my army routed, he suddenly suggested a 
strategic move for my forces which crowned them with triumphant 
victory, and himself with defeat, and he ended by gracefully offering 
to surrender his su.>rd ! Of course, Lieutenant Orant is too young 
for command, but his capacity for future military usefulness is 

For these facts and Major Hamer' s letter, I 

am indebted to an interesting series of articles on 
14 Grant's Life in the West and his Mississippi 
Valley Campaign/' by Colonel John \V. Emerson, 
appearing in the Midland Monthly while this volume 
is going through the press. Colonel Emerson also 
publishes this interesting correspondence: 

" I respectfully protest against being assigned to a duty which re- 
moves me from sharing in the dangers and honors of service with my 
company at the front, and respectfully ask to be permitted to resume 
my place in line. Respectfully submitted, 

" U. S. Grant, 2d Lt. 4th Infu" 

1848] Experiences as a Soldier. 45 

" Lt. Grant is respectfully informed that his protest cannot be 

11 Lt. Grant was assigned to duty as Quartermaster and Commis- 
sary because of his observed ability, skill, and persistency in the line 
of duty. The commanding officer is confident that Lt. Grant can 
best serve his country in present emergencies under this assignment. 
Lt. Grant will continue to perform the assigned duties. 

" Lt.-Col. Garland, 4th Inft. Comdg. Brigade." 

Later on Grant made another attempt to escape 
staff duty, and wrote this indorsement on the paper 
in which his request was denied : 

" I should be permitted to resign the position of Quartermaster 
and Commissary. Why should I be required to resign my position 
in the Army in order to escape this duty? I must and will accom- 
pany my regiment in battle, and I am amenable to court-martial 
should any loss occur to the public property in my charge by reason 
of my absence while in action." 



1 848-I861. 

)HE war with Mexico was ended by 
the signing of the treaty of Guada- 
lupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848. 
News of the ratification of this treaty 
reached Mexico in June, and on the 

1 2th of that month the Army of Occupation started 
on their return to the United States. Grant's regi- 
ment was sent to Pascagoula, Mississippi, to spend 
the summer. He promptly obtained a leave of 
absence, and went to St. Louis to see what Miss 
Dent had to say on the subject of marriage. The 
wedding was fixed for the 27th of August, 1848; 
and after a brief visit with his bride to his parents 
and relatives in Ohio, Grant joined his post at Sack- 
ett's Harbour, New York.* His rank at that time 

* The following appears in a manuscript history of Sackett's Har- 
bour, written by Colonel Edw. Vollum, M.D., U.S.A., and now on 
file at that post: " 1st Lieut. U. S. Grant, 4th tL S. Inf., served at 
this place from some time in 1849 to 1852 as the Quartermaster of 


1848-61] Experiences of Garrison Life, 47 

was First Lieutenant, and his yearly pay about $1000, 
including rations and forage. He was a Captain by 
brevet only. In April, 1849, fte was ordered to 
Fort Wayne, Detroit, Michigan, where he remained 
for two years. 

The Fourth Infantry was scattered from Fort 
Howard, Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Plattsburg Bar- 
racks, New York. Grant was Regimental Quarter- 
master, and the fact that he still held this responsible 
position shows that his unfortunate loss of money in 
Mexico had left no stain upon his record. He was 
greatly respected and esteemed by all of his brother 
officers, especially by those who had served with him 
in the Mexican War, with a single exception : the 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fourth Infantry was not 
favourably inclined towards him. The Colonel be- 
ing granted an indefinite leave of absence, the Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel assumed command, and made known 
his desire to select another quartermaster. He soon 
found, however, that the other officers of the regi- 
ment strongly objected to a change, and concluded 
that it was not wise to make Grant the victim of his 

In May, 1852, the Fourth Infantry was ordered 
to rendezvous at Fort Columbus, Governor's Island, 

his regiment. He is remembered by the citizens hereabouts as a 
diffident, plain-mannered gentleman, but little disposed to enter into 
conversation, but acute and sound when his spirit moved him that 
way. Some of his first appointments after his elevation to the Presi- 
dency of the U. S. were made among his old friends at this place. 
He was fond of good horses, and rather peculiar for his hatred of the 
garrison band music, from the sound of which he always escaped 
whenever he could." 

48 Ulysses S. Grant. L1848- 

New York Harbour, preparatory to embarking for 
the Pacific coast. Lieutenant Grant decided to 
leave his young wife with her parents in St. Louis 
until she could join him later. On the 5th of July 
he sailed with eight companies of the Fourth 
for Aspinwall on the steamship Ohio, commanded 
by Lieutenant-Commander, afterward Admiral, 
Schenck. Although it was well known that cholera 
was raging with great severity on the Isthmus, 
all the good berths on the ship had been taken 
by civilian passengers. The addition of seven hun- 
dred persons to the passenger list, including the 
families of officers and soldiers, greatly overcrowded 
the man-of-war, and the journey to the tropics in 
July was a very uncomfortable one. The regiment 
arrived at Aspinwall on the 16th of July, 1852, and 
Grant, who had been very seasick, welcomed the 
sight of shore. July 17th the regiment was carried 
by rail to the crossing of the Chagres River, thence 
by boat to Gorgona. 

A difficult march from Gorgona, occupying three 
days during the uncomfortable rainy season, brought 
the troops to Panama, where they went aboard the 
steamship Golden Gate. Cholera broke out on board 
the ship the next day, and the vessel was detained 
at Panama for nearly three weeks; the regiment los- 
ing by death meanwhvie one officer, many enlisted 
men, and some of the women and children. 

This was a time that tried the soul of Quarter- 
master Grant. He had been left at Aspinwall with 
the baggage and stores of the regiment, one com- 
pany being detailed as his escort. From Aspinwall 

1861] Experiences of Garrison Life. 49 

he moved up the Chagres River to Cruces, a town 
somewhat nearer Panama than Gorgona. Then his 
troubles began. The contract of the steamship 
company included the transportation of the baggage 
and stores of the regiment. So many passengers 
had come on the steamer, that teams were in unusual 
demand, and the troops were neglected. Finding 
that he was to be detained at Aspinwall, Lieutenant 
Grant sent the company he had with him to Panama, 
and remained alone with the sick and the few sol- 
diers who, having families, remained behind. Tiring 
at last of the steamship company's delays, he took 
matters into his own hands, hired men and mules, 
and transported everything to Panama over roads 
that were almost without bottom. This was a great 
responsibility for a quartermaster to take, with a 
treasury clerk sitting at Washington, watching to 
find flaws in his accounts when they were presented 
for payment. 

Grant's services here were of the greatest import- 
ance, and were highly creditable to him and to the 
regiment. In the midst of cholera, with no physi- 
cian, little or no shelter for his men, and dealing 
with incompetent contractors, his task was indeed a 
difficult and laborious one. His kindness and 
thoughtfulness were not confined to his own com- 
mand, for he assisted many passengers of the Ohio 
in getting across the Isthmus. Among these were 
some Sisters of Charity, one of whom was taken 
with cholera at Cruces. When she had somewhat 
recovered, Grant hired bearers for her, and had her 
conveyed in a hammock to Panama. He finally 

50 Ulysses 5! Grant. (1848- 

succeeded in getting his stores on board the steamei 
Golden Gate t and the vessel was removed to Fla- 
mingo to rid her of the cholera. The disease soon 
abated, and the regiment sailed to San Francisco, 
arriving there in September, 1S52, after a long and 
memorable voyage, during which the labours of 
Quartermaster Grant were unremitting, and his 
anxiety without relief. lie never forgot this ex- 
perience, and was accustomed to refer to it more 
[uently among his intimate friends than to his 
greater achievements as .1 soldier. 

An officer who sailed with him on this voyage 
'its that one day SOmC of the officers ^{ the 

Fourth Infantry were ei 1 in a heated discus- 

sion on the main deck, while Grant was seated by 
himself at some distance from them. As the discus- 
sion grew warmer, and the prospect "f agreement 
• and less, Adjutant McConnell broke in with: 
I tell you, fellows, how we will settle this. Let's 
deck and refer the whole matter to 

g-headed Sam. and whatever may be his decision 

we will abide by it." There were man}' disputes 

during this trying journey, and the services of 

long-headed Sam ' umpire were in frequent 


After spending a few weeks at Benecia Barracks, 

California, to recuperate, the headquarters and five 
companies of the Fourth embarked on the steam- 
ship Columbia for Columbia Barracks, now Van- 
couver Barracks, situated just across the river from 
Portland, Oregon. Here they arrived about the 
22d of September. At Columbia Barracks Grant 



1861] Experiences of Garrison Life. 

assumed the duties of Post Quartermaster. He and 
Captain Rufus In galls, butter known later on as one 
of the ablest quartermasters our Civil War pro- 
duced. Captain Thomas L. Brent, Depot Quarter- 
master, who died in 1858, and Colonel Henry L. 
Hodges, U. S. A., who was then a second lieuten- 
ant in Grant's company, and afterward Chief Quar- 
termaster of the Army of the Cumberland, lived 
together for the winter in the Quartermaster's house 
under the hill. It was the era of high prices on the 
Pacific coast; and Grant and his mess concluded to 
raise their own potatoes, and sell any surplus they 
might have. The Quartermaster revived his early 
experiences as a farmer, bought a pair of worn-out 
horses that recuperated rapidly under his skilful 
management, and ploughed up the ground while his 
comrades planted the potatoes. The crop was im- 
mense ; but so was the flood that overflowed the 
banks of the Columbia, and drowned it out be- 
fore it was ready to be gathered. This." said 
Grant in his Memoirs, " saved digging it up, for 
everybody on the Pacific Coast seemed to have 
come to the conclusion at the same time that agri- 
culture would be profitable." A venture in ice, and 
another in cattle, were equally unfortunate. Busi- 
ness profits always flew away when Grant sought to 
lure them. 

While stationed at Columbia Barracks, Grant took 
an active part in the occasional expeditions against 
the Indians. In September, 1853, he received 
notice of his promotion to the rank of Captain, dat- 
ing from August 5, 1853, an< ^ n ^ s assignment to 

52 Ulysses S. Grant. [1848- 

Company F of the Fourth Infantry, then stationed 
at Humboldt Bay, California. To reach his new 
command, he was obliged to go to San Francisco, 
and thence in a lumber vessel up the coast. At 
Columbia Barracks he had met Brevet-Captain 
George B. McClellan, of the engineers, who visited 
that post to fit out an expedition for a survey of the 
passes of the Cascade range of mountains, for the 
purpose of determining a route for the Northern 
Pacific Railroad. While McClellan was at Columbia 
Barracks, Grant was guilty of an indiscretion not 
uncommon among young officers at that day, which 
gave McClellan an unfavourable impression of him, 
and influenced his judgment later on, when he was 
in command of the Armies of the United States, 
and Grant was an officer under orders. 

Grant had one physical weakness, and that was 
an incapacity to take the smallest drink of spirituous 
liquor without being overcome by it. As a rule, he 
was extremely abstemious in both eating and drink- 
ing. At rare intervals, when a young officer, he 
would be betrayed into what was for him an over- 
indulgence. This led to a difficulty with his post 
commander, Major Robert C. Buchanan, who was a 
graduate of the Military Academy, an excellent offi- 
cer, and something of a martinet. Life was dismal 
enough at that isolated post; the prospects of ad- 
vancement were remote ; and the separation from his 
family, to a man of Grant's domestic tastes, was un- 
bearable. To these causes of discontent was now 
added the displeasure of his commanding officer; 
and he concluded to resign, though it was not in 

1861] Experiences of Garrison Life. 53 

the power of his superior to compel him to do so 
against his will. 

By the officers familiar with the circumstances, 
Major Buchanan was considered unnecessarily harsh 
in his dealings with Grant. Drinking in those days 
was much too common to be visited with severe 
penalties, except when it involved serious dereliction 
of duty; and Grant's reputation was that of a good, 
willing officer, always ready for duty, but extremely 
social and friendly with his fellows. There is a 
story told to the effect that when he resigned, and 
left his companions of the Fourth Infantry, Grant 
told them that within ten years they would hear 
from him in a way to compel their respect. The 
story may be true, though it is not in character, for 
Grant was never boastful. He had, however, a cer- 
tain quiet confidence in his future that never forsook 
him. " I have seen some hard times in my life," 
he once said to the writer, " but I never saw the 
moment when I was not sure that I would come out 
ahead in the end." 

In less than ten years from the date of his resig- 
nation, he was Lieutenant-General of the United 
States Army, in command as General-in-Chief of 
the Armies of the United States, and Buchanan 
was an officer under his orders. Grant was never 
prone to revenge, nor did he indulge it in this case, 
though his difficulty with Buchanan affected him 
injuriously through the whole of his military career. 
The Army is as prone to gossip as a New England 
sewing-society; and the story of his experiences at 
Fort Humboldt was spread abroad in an exag- 

54 Ulysses S. Grant. [1848- 

gerated form, subjecting him to unjust suspicions 
and false charges that discredited him with his 
superiors, and aroused popular clamour against him 
at critical periods in his history. 

The pay of a captain in the Army, especially that 
of one who has a family to support, leaves no mar- 
gin for contingencies, and the harsh judgment of his 
commanding officer had placed Captain Grant, late 
U. S. Army, in a most embarrassing position. 
When he reached S.m FranciSCO, <>n his \v,iy home, 
he had nothing in his pocket except an order for 
some forty dollars due for court-martial service, and 

on this he depended for the payment of his passage 


There was BOme irregularity in the order; he 
could not get it cashed, and he slept that night in 
the office of the clerk of the Depot Quartermaster at 
San FranciSCO, who finally assumed the responsi- 
bility of cashing his draft, and secured such favours 
for Grant from the steamboat company that he was 
able to travel home in comfort. Captain Richard 
L. Ogden, the clerk in question, who records this 
episode in his diary, says: 

" Having occasion to go to the steamer again to see some friends 
off, I met the Captain (Grant) again, and he showed me the nice 
stateroom that had fallen to his lot, and said : ' This is a great luxury 
and what I did not expect, and I am indebted to you for it. The 
prospect of ever being able to reciprocate is certainly remote, but 
strange things happen in this world, and there is no knowing.' With 
these prophetic words on his lips, Ulysses S. Cirant sailed." 

If he carried home with him little else, he did 
carry the respect and affection of those who knew 

/861] Experiences of Garrison Life. 55 

him. " Sam Grant," said one of his acquaintances 
of that day (Colonel Henry C. Hodges, United 
States Army) to the writer, il Sam Grant was as 
honest a man as God ever made. He was not only 
an able officer, and one who was esteemed and loved 
by all, but he was one of the cleanest-mouthed men 
I ever knew, and in all my life I have never known 
a man so absolutely truthful as Grant." 

This characteristic of absolute truthfulness ex- 
plains many circumstances in Grant's subsequent 
career. Where he could not speak freely and frankly, 
he would not speak at all ; for silence was with him 
the only possible refuge from a revelation of his 

Grant resigned from the Army, July 31, 1854, and 
the same year witnessed the resignation of a num- 
ber of other officers who subsequently became dis- 
tinguished : Generals Halleck, McClellan, Rosecrans, 
Slocum, Reynolds, Willcox, C. P. Stone, and Wil- 
liam S. Smith, of the Union Army; and Bragg, 
Rains, Gustavus W. Smith, and Mansfield Lovell, 
of the Confederate service. To all of these, and to 
many others, Grant's story was known, and it created 
a prejudice against him that made his future career 
more difficult than it would otherwise have been, and 
more successful. To him were to come those lessons 
of hard experience which should teach him, as they 
did Lincoln, the virtue of self-examination, and 
save him from the dangers of self-conceit, without 
depriving him of confidence, — " that feeling on 
which the mind embarks on great and honourable 
courses with a sure hope and trust in itself ; ' which 

56 Ulysses S. Grant. H848- 

teaches the soul to say with Epictetus, in spirit if 
not in word, " Lead me where Thou wilt, clothe me 
in any dress Thou choosest. 

Captain Grant was thirty-two years old when he 
retired from the Army, and he looked forward 
with cheerful anticipation to the possibility of 
accomplishing something in civil life. He was de- 
lighted, too, with the prospect of joining his family 
and enjoying the domestic comfort so difficult of at- 
tainment by an Army officer, in the days when fron- 
tier service and meagre pay were combined. When 
he reached his father-in-law's house in 1S54, he 
introduced to .1 son, Ulysses S. Grant, who was 
born July 22, 1 S 5 j , while the father was Struggling 

with his difficulties as quartermaster on the Isthmus 
of Panama. An elder son, Frederick Dent Grant, 
had been bom two years earlier. May 30, 1K50. 
Mrs. Grant owned a tract of land hard by St. 

Louis on the Gravois Road, near her father's home. 
It was not stocked; there was no house on it; and 
the pay of §1200 or $1300, which this captain of 
infantry had enjoyed but a single year, furnished 
no surplus for investment. There was a hard and 
bitter struggle with fortune before him. lie had to 
assist with his own hands in hewing the logs for a 
house with four rooms, which was to furnish in 
primitive fashion a shelter for his little family. The 
first winter was employed in clearing land, chopping 
wood, and hauling it to St. Louis for sale, Grant 
driving one team in person. In the spring he 
ploughed and planted ; and when the crop was gath- 
ered, he was one of the foremost hands in the har- 

1861] Failure as a Farmer and Trader. 5 7 

vest field. He was an excellent farmer; he was 
industrious and energetic ; but he was compelled to 
submit to the discomforts and restrictions insepa- 
rable from the life of a pioneer. 

Copp£e, in his Life of Grant, says: 

" I visited St. Louis at this time, and remember with pleasure, 
that Grant, in his farmer rig, whip in hand, came to see me at the 
hotel, where were Joseph J. Reynolds, then professor, now Major- 
General, General (then Major) D. C. Buell, and Major Chapman of 
the Cavalry. If Grant had ever used spirits, as is not unlikely, I dis- 
tinctly remember, that, upon the proposal being made to drink, Grant 
said : ' I will go in and look at you, for I never drink anything ' ; and 
the other officers, who saw him frequently, afterwards told me that 
he drank nothing but water." 

The monotony of farming life was relieved by 
trips to St. Louis, and by occasional visits from old 
Army friends, who usually found the ex-captain 
busied with his farm work. One of his friends who 
followed him to the harvest field tells how he found 
him in shirt-sleeves, leading the mowers, and cov- 
ered with the sweat of honest industry. He con- 
tinued this work until 1858, when his old enemy of 
fever and ague again attacked him, and he resolved 
to seek a change of employment. Such leisure as 
he had on his farm was occupied in reading. Gen- 
eral Sherman says: 

" I recall an instance when I met him in St. Louis, in 1857, when 
he was a farmer in the country, and I too was out of military service. 
The only impression left on my memory is, that I then concluded 
that West Point and the Regular Army were not good schools for 
farmers, bankers, merchants, and mechanics. I did not meet him 
again until the Civil War had broken out, when chaos seemed let 
loose, and the gates of Hell wide open in every direction." 

58 Ulysses S. Grant. [1848- 

In the fall of 1858, Grant sold at auction his stock, 
crops, and farming utensils, and, leaving his family 
on his farm for the winter, went to St. Louis to 
seek employment. He formed a partnership in the 
real-estate business with a cousin of his wife, Harry 
Boggs. In the spring he leased his farm, and re- 
moved his family to St. Louis, occupying a little 
house on Barton Street. His venture in real estate 
did not prove a success. H p never showed any 
ability as a solicitor or a tradesman, still less as a 
collector of rents; and his partner soon decided that 
the business did not yield enough to support more 
than one family. The St. Louis Republican says: 

" Some unfortunate tenant would appeal to him for time or help, 
and the time or help would always be given. His own noble and 
trustful soul made it impossible for him to question the word of a 
debtor who declared that he had no money, and he would trouble 
him no further. I n a word , he was too tender-hearted and unselfish 
ever to make a success of business. The real-estate venture natur- 
ally did not thrive. The firm occupied an office on Pine Street, 
which is still standing ; and many and vigorous were the scoldings 
given by the older partner to the younger, for his unbusiness-like 
habits and his many lapses from the path of commercial success. 
Grant was always good-natured. No one ever heard him complain of 
his lot. There were features which made the hardships harder : he 
had many mouths to find bread for, and there was little bread to be 

If his farming life had not been profitable, it was 
at least congenial to his tastes. To the wife of a 
Congressman who knew him at this time, and who 
called on him when he was President at one of the 
White House receptions, General Grant said: 

1861] Failure as a Farmer and Trader. 59 

" Do you recollect when I used to supply your 
husband with wood, and pile it myself, and measure 
it too, and go to his office for my pay ? Mrs. Blow, 
those were happy days ; for I was doing the best I 
could to support my family." 

Grant never forgot those who showed him kind- 
ness in the days of his humiliation. Those who 
befriended him were not always considerate in 
claiming the reward which his generosity prompted 
him to give them. On the files of the Treasury 
Department is a letter written by Grant just after 
the war, to the Secretary of the Treasury, intro- 
ducing one of these friends of early days, and 

saying in substance: " Mr. was a friend to 

me when I was in sore need of friends. He is 
desirous of going South to buy cotton, and I shall 
be obliged if you will give him whatever facilities 
for doing so you give to any one." This letter was 
written just after the war ended, and before the 
restrictions placed upon free intercourse between 
the North and South were removed. Its recipient 
had it lithographed, and distributed copies among a 
number of agents. With such an introduction, 
these agents were permitted to pass the military 
lines, and, gathering large amounts of cotton on the 
Southern side, sold it at an immense profit in the 
North. Such a transaction simply illustrates Grant's 
unsuspicious generosity and kindness of heart ; yet 
it was not unnaturally subject to misconception, and 
it gave those who were seeking for sinister motives 
abundant opportunity for criticism. 

Once more out of employment after the failure of 

60 Ulysses S. Grant. [1848- 

his real-estate venture, Grant concluded that public 
office was his proper sphere, as is shown by the fol- 
lowing document on file in the office of County 
Clerk of St. Louis County, labelled "Application of 
U. S. Grant for the office of County Engineer — 
Rejected." It is signed by several prominent citi- 
zens, and also by a number of persons who after- 
wards occupied positions in the Confederate service. 

St. Louis, August 15, 1859. 

Hon. County Commissioners, St. Louis County, Mo. : 

Gentlemen, — I beg leave to submit myself as an applicant for 
the office of county engineer, should the office be rendered vacant, 
and at the same time to submit the names of a few citizens who 
have been kind enough to recommend me for the office. I have 
made no effort to get a large number of names, nor the names of 
persons with whom I am not personally acquainted. I enclose here- 
with also a statement from Professor J. J. Reynolds, who was a 
classmate of mine at West Point, as to qualifications. 

Should your honorable body see proper to give me the appoint- 
ment, I pledge myself to give the office my entire attention, and 
shall hope to give general satisfaction. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant. 

The years during which Captain Grant resided in 
St. Louis and its vicinity covered a period of great 
political excitement. The struggle between the 
forces of freedom and slavery for the possession of 
the new State of Kansas was exciting the country, 
and Missouri was the battle-ground of contending 
factions. The Republican party was forming, and 
entered upon its first great struggle for control in 
the Presidential campaign of 1856, when Buchanan 
and Fremont were the candidates. It was Grant's 
first opportunity to cast a vote, and he voted for 

1861] Failure as a Farmer and Trader. 61 

Buchanan; in part, as he tells us, because he knew 
Fremont too well to vote for him, and, further, be- 
cause he believed that his election would precipitate 
secession and plunge the country into war. His 
political proclivities were in favour of the Whig 
party, which was moribund. As many of his neigh- 
bours, who sympathised with his views, had joined 
the Know-nothing or American party, which was 
afterwards absorbed in the Republican party, he 
was initiated in the local lodge of the Order, and 
attended one of its secret meetings, never entering 
another. The principle of secrecy was not con- 
genial to his taste. 

The party in Missouri opposed to the election of 
Buchanan was known at that time as the Free-Soil 
Democracy, and was marshalled under the leader- 
ship of the Hon. Frank P. Blair. He was a brother of 
Montgomery Blair, Mr. Lincoln's Postmaster-Gen- 
eral, who was a graduate of the Military Academy 
of the class of 1835, and was then a Missouri lawyer 
and Solicitor of the United States in the Court of 
Claims. Frank Blair, who afterwards became a dis- 
tinguished soldier, was a ready and forcible public 
speaker; and he tells of seeing on one occasion, 
when he was addressing an out-of-door audience, a 
little man, seated on the tail of a cart, who listened 
with great interest. At the close of the speech the 
little man was brought up and introduced as Captain 
Grant, late of the Army. 

11 Captain," said Mr. Blair, ' I am going with 
my friends here to take some refreshment. Won't 
you join us ? " 

62 Ulysses S. Grant. [1840- 

I will go with you, Mr. Blair," was the answer, 
" but I am not going to vote for you." With this 
honest understanding, Mr. Blair's hospitality was 
accepted. In his Memoirs, Grant says, ' Blair I 
knew very well by sight, and I heard him speak in 
the canvass in 1858, possibly several times, but I 
have never spoken to him." As this story was told 
by General Blair to the author of this biography, it 
would appear that General Grant was mistaken in 
his recollection. 

Previous to his application for the office of County 
Engineer, Grant had for a short time held a position 
in the Custom-House at St. L< uis, but was thrown 
out of office by the death of the Collector. He 
next turned to his father for assistance, and was 
offered a place as clerk, on a salary of §600 a year, 
in a Store conducted by his younger brothers, at 

Galena, 111. Thus by a series of misfortunes he was 
brought to the necessity of accepting his father's 
original proposition that he should become a pur- 
veyor of leather. The leather-store in Galena was 
founded in 1 S40 by E. A. Collins, who after a year 
formed a partnership with Jesse Grant, under the 
firm name of E. A. Collins & Co. The business 
prospered ; and the invoiced value, when the firm 
dissolved in 1853, was $icx),000. The dissolution 
was announced in some rhymes published by Jesse 
Grant in the Galena Gazette. They informed the 
public that 

" J. R. Grant, the old ' off wheel,* 
As firm and true as smitten steel, 
Does yet a strong desire feel 

18611 Failure as a Farmer and Trader. 63 

To do some work. 
Expect, then, within the field, 
A brand-new store." 

The business was put in charge of the two younger 
sons, who conducted the brand-new store as a 
branch of their father's business in Ohio. Some 
years afterwards the father divided his property 
equally among his children, reserving what he con- 
sidered sufficient for himself, and the leather busi- 
ness was transferred to Grant's brothers. Ulysses 
refused to take his portion of the family estate, as 
he was prosperous at the time of the division, and 
did not think he had contributed anything towards 
its accumulation. He was faithful as a clerk, but 
was never at home in selling goods, and usually in- 
trusted this delicate business of bartering to his 
shrewder brothers, while he sat in front of the store 
on a packing-box whittling. He bore a high repu- 
tation for honesty, truthfulness, and industry, and 
his small borrowings were always honourably re- 
turned, but he never had what is called " the nose 
for money." 

The ex-soldier travelled occasionally through the 
Northwest to extend the business of his firm, and 
to attend to collections. On one of these journeys 
he found occasion to call upon a deputy-sheriff to 
serve a writ of replevin upon a delinquent creditor, 
who had locked himself in his store, and threat- 
ened violence against any one who entered. The 
timid deputy shrank from encountering the shot- 
gun with which the fighting creditor had armed 
himself. This was the soldier's opportunity. Grant 


Ulysses S. Grant, 


asked that he be appointed a deputy to serve the 
process. In a few minutes the door was broken 
down, and the contumacious creditor was brought 
to terms. Had the business of dealing with warlike 
clients been sufficient to occupy his time, Grant 
would have been a brilliant success as a tanner's 




URING the winter of 1860-61, in the 
interval between the nomination and 
the inauguration of Abraham Lin- 
coln as President of the United 
States, Grant spent much of the 
time in travelling on business in the Northwest. 
The question of war or of peace was then being 
discussed at every crossroad and in every country 
tavern. As an ex-captain of the Regular Army, 
who had served in Mexico, Grant was supposed to 
speak with authority on this subject; and in the 
towns where he stopped his opinion was eagerly 
sought by the residents who came to his tavern at 
night to question him. Captain Grant was fortu- 
nately well informed on public questions. His 
leisure had been largely occupied in reading. He 
was an eager devourer of newspapers, and was a 
close observer. He believed that war would result 
from the election of Mr. Lincoln; but he accepted 
the opinion current at the time, that it would be a 


66 Ulysses S. Grant. [1861 

ninety-days' affair. The storm that had been gath- 
ering for twenty-five years, since the agitation of 
the question of slavery became active in 1835, burst 
in full fury on the country when South Carolina 
defied the authority of the United States by firing 
on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour, April 12, 

President Lincoln's proclamation calling for 75,- 
OOO militia for three months' service followed three 
days later. A second call was made May 3, 1 861, 
and Illinois was preparing to furnish her quota. 
The dead walls of Galena were covered with post- 
ers, asking the citizens to meet at the Court-House 
in the evening; and men of every class dropping 
their party distinctions, assembled to unite in de- 
manding that this insult to the national flag should 
be promptly avenged. The modest ex-captain of 
infantry was dragged from his obscurity, and com- 
pelled to preside over the crowded meeting; though 
it was only with much embarrassment, and by the 
help of considerable prompting, that he was able to 
announce the purpose of the gathering, saying, in 
an almost inaudible voice: 

I thank you for honouring me with the position 
of Chairman of this meeting. You know the pur- 
pose for which we are assembled. We are needed 
to help preserve the Union. What is your pleas- 
ure ? 

Two Democrats — one the Postmaster of the town, 
the other, John A. Rawlins, a young lawyer of 
Galena — were the principal speakers. E. B. Wash- 
burne, to whose friendship Grant was afterwards so 

1861] Experiences as an Officer. 67 

much indebted, came in during the meeting, and 
also spoke. It would appear, from statements which 
he made afterward, that his confidence in Grant as a 
soldier was in inverse ratio to his respect for him as 
a presiding officer. 

The meeting resulted in a resolution to support 
the Government, and in a call for volunteers for the 
two companies which Galena was expected to fur- 
nish. They were promptly raised, and the officers 
and non-commissioned officers elected. If he had 
consented, Grant would have received the appoint- 
ment of Captain. He declined out of consideration 
for some one else who desired the command ; but he 
promptly put his military experience at the service 
of the volunteers, and abandoned the leather busi- 
ness to devote his entire time to organising and 
drilling them. He directed the ladies of Galena in 
the patriotic work of preparing uniforms for the 
troops, and instructed the tailors in cutting the 
cloth, which the ladies made into military gar- 
ments. Finally he accompanied the volunteers to 
Springfield, whither they went to be mustered into 
the service of the State. 

A young merchant of Galena, who afterwards be- 
came a distinguished officer of our Army, was mak- 
ing an awkward attempt, one day in the early winter 
of 1 861, to drill his company of militia. They were 
drawn up in a street of Galena in front of a leather- 
store. Hidden behind the soldiers was a little man 
seated on a packing-box. Some movement of the 
line brought him into view ; and it suddenly oc- 
curred to the militia officer that this was Captain 

68 Ulysses S. Grant, L1861 

Grant, whose service in the Regular Army should 
have taught him how to drill. The ex-regular was 
asked to take charge of the company, and a sword 
was handed to him. He buckled it on and took his 
position in front of the men. As he drew his blade 
from its scabbard, and it flashed in the sunlight, his 
whole nature seemed transformed, and to his fellow- 
townsmen was revealed the fact that here was a man 
who understood the business of war. 

When the Governor of Illinois, Richard Yates, 
was suddenly called upon to officer and equip a 
large body of troops, he could find no one who 
understood even the simplest routine of military 
service. Colonels could not drill their regiments, 
and captains were ignorant of the simplest company 
movements. Asking a member of his staff, who 
had been appointed for the ornamental purposes of 
peace, whether he knew anything about organising 
troops, he was answered, " No." In response to a 
request for information concerning some one better 
instructed, the officer called attention to Captain 
Grant, formerly of the Regular Army, and a West 
Point graduate, whom he had known in Galena. 
As to his capacity he had no knowledge. He at 
least understood military drill, army regulations, 
and the routine of the service. 

While stopping in a hotel at Springfield, the Gov- 
ernor, hearing a fellow-guest accosted by that name, 
introduced himself, and asked the Captain to call at 
the Executive office the following morning. 

When Grant appeared at the Governor's office, he 
was engaged at a salary of three dollars a day to 

1861] Experiences as an Officer. 69 

assist in the Adjutant-General's office at Camp 
Yates, where the troops were assembled. He had 
never distinguished himself as a clerk, but his famil- 
iarity with army papers and forms was of more im- 
portance than mere clerical ability. He had served 
in the field as adjutant of a regiment, as quarter- 
master and commissary, and thoroughly understood 
the details of his new duties. Matters at Camp 
Yates soon fell into order under his skilled direction. 
Governor Yates, in a speech in Congress, says of his 
first introduction to Grant : 

11 1 did not then know that he had seen service in Mexico ; that he 
had fought at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and at Monterey under 
Scott. In presenting himself to me, he made no reference to any 
merit, but simply said he had been a recipient of a military education 
at West Point, and, now that the country was assailed, he thought it 
was his duty to offer his services, and that he would esteem it a 
privilege to be assigned to any position where he could be useful." 

After a short service with the Adjutant-General, 
Grant was sent to Southern Illinois to muster in 
three regiments assembled at Bellville. While 
there, he made a brief visit to St. Louis, and was 
present, as was also General Sherman, at the first 
encounter in Missouri between the armed adherents 
of the two sections. 

In the latter part of May, Grant went to visit his 
parents at Covington, Kentucky, intending at the 
same time to visit Cincinnati, to see if he could ob- 
tain an appointment on the staff of McClellan, who 
was a major-general, and had his headquarters there. 
McClellan, in his Own Story, says: 

/O Ulysses S. Grant. C1861 

" I think it was during my absence on this very trip to Indianapo- 
lis that Grant came to Cincinnati to ask me, as an old acquaintance, 
to give him employment, or a place on my staff. Marcy or Seth 
Williams ^aw him, and told him that if he would await my return 
doubtless I would do something for hun ; hut before 1 got back he 
telegraphed that he could have a regiment in Illinois, and at once 
returned thither, so that I did not see him. This was his good luck ; 
for had I been there, I would no doubt have given him a place on my 
stall, and he would probably have remained with me and shared my 

McClellan is mistaken as to his being absent at 
the time. In a conversation with Mr. Young 
during his journey around the world, Grant told 
the story thus j 

I knew McClellan, and had great confidence in him. I have, 
for that matter, never lost nr : f<>r Mc('lellan's character, nor 

my Confidence In hil loyalty tnd ability. 1 saw in him the man who 
was to pilot us through, and I wanted to be on his staff. I thought 
that if he would make me a major, or a lieutenant-colonel, I could 
A use, and I wanted to be with him. So when I came to Cincin- 
nati, I went to the headquarter- ral of the staff officers were 
friends I had known in the Army. I asked one of them if the gen- 
eral was in. I was told he had just gone out, and was isked to take 
a seat. Everybody was so busy that they could not say a word. I 
waited a couple of hours. I never saw such a btUJ crowd — so many 
men at an army headquarters with quills behind their ears. But I 
supposed it was all right, and was much encouraged by their industry. 
" Finally, after a long wait, I told an officer that I would come in 
again next day, and requested him to tell McClellan that I had 
called. Next day I came in. The same story. The general had 
just gone out ; might be in at any moment. Would I wait ? I sat 
and waited for two hours, watching the officers with their quills, and 
left. This is the whole story. McClellan never acknowledged my 
call, and of course, after he knew I had been at his headquarters, I 
was bound to aw ait his acknowledgment. I was older, had ranked 
him in the army, and could not hang around his headquarters watch- 

1861] Experiences as an Officer. 71 

ing the men with the quills behind their ears. I went over to make 
a visit to an old army friend, Reynolds, and while there learned that 
Governor Yates, of Illinois, had made me a colonel of volunteers. 
Still I should have liked to join McClellan. This pomp and cere- 
mony was common at the beginning of the war. McClellan had 
three times as many men with quills behind their ears as I had ever 
found necessary at the headquarters of a much larger command." 

From his home at Galena, Grant wrote to the 
War Department at Washington, offering his services 
as a soldier. He received no reply to his letter, and, 
as it is not on the files of the War Department, it 
was apparently overlooked in the confusion prevail- 
ing in Washington at this time. This is the letter: 

Galena, Illinois, May 24, 1861. 

Sir : Having served for fifteen years in the regular army, includ- 
ing four years at West Point, and feeling it the duty of everyone 
who has been educated at the government expense to offer their 
services for the support of that government, I have the honor very 
respectfully to tender my services until the close of the war, in such 
capacity as may be offered. I would say, in view of my present age 
and length of service, I feel myself competent to command a regi- 
ment, if the President, in his judgment should see fit to intrust one 
to me. Since the first call of the President, I have been serving on 
the staff of the Governor of this State, rendering such aid as I could 
in the organization of our State militia, and I am still engaged in 
that capacity. A letter addressed to me at Springfield, Illinois, will 
reach me. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant. 

Among the regiments organised in Illinois at that 
time was the Twenty-first Illinois Infantry, com- 
posed of 1250 vigorous and intelligent young men 
from the " best families" of Coles, Cumberland, 

72 Ulysses S. Grant. ri86i 

Champaign, and Douglas Counties, all well dis- 
posed, but wholly unused to any restraint, and full 
of mischief. They had elected a colonel who did 
not command their respect, and who was controlled 
by the idea, so prevalent at that time, that good fel- 
lowship could be made a substitute for military 
discipline. He was soon satisfied of his own inca- 
pacity, and Governor Yates refused to commission 

The Governor had found that Grant thoroughly 
understood the business of organising and drilling 
troops, and he had formed a high opinion of his force 
of character. He accordingly sent for him, and 
offered to appoint him Colonel of the Twenty-first, 
which was in a condition bordering upon mutiny. 
In answer to the question whether he thought he 
could control it, Grant promptly answered, " Yes." 

Not having had time to procure a uniform, the 
new colonel, when he appeared to take command, 
wore a large bandanna tied around the waist of his 
sack coat for a sash, and was armed with a stick 
instead of a sword. His men soon discovered, how- 
ever, that authority centred in the man, not in his 
sword or epaulets. The sons of the " best fami- 
lies " found that they had their master in the little 
gentleman from Galena, whose modest ways secured 
for him the title of " the quiet man." Major 
Wham, of the Army, who was then a lieutenant in 
the Twenty-first, says: 

" We were in for thirty days at first, and had a colonel who wore 
two pistols in his belt and made speeches on dress parade. We re- 
fused to enlist unless we could have a new colonel, and the case was 

1861] Experiences as an Officer. 73 

presented to Governor Dick Yates while the regiment was camped at 
Springfield. It was then that Colonel U. S. Grant was assigned to 
our regiment, and the Governor suggested that the boys be enthused 
with some speeches by Logan or one or two others. The programme 
was carried out ; and the boys, who had been worked up to a three- 
cheers-and-a-tiger state of mind, and were accustomed to speeches 
from their old colonel, called for ' Grant, Colonel Grant,' with the 
accent on both words. There was a slight hesitation, and then Colo- 
nel Grant, who had been sitting down, arose and made an effective 
address without exhausting the English language. It could hardly 
be divided into the three parts required for rhetoricians, for it con- 
sisted of but four words : to wit, ' Go to your quarters ! ' " 

On another occasion, before the regiment left 
Camp Yates, an Irish member who had been visit- 
ing Springfield, returned in a condition that made 
him entirely oblivious of authority. He so terror- 
ised the camp, that the corporal and others ordered 
to arrest him shrank from the task. Without a mo- 
ment's hesitation the Colonel knocked the Irishman 
down, bound him, and gagged him in the usual 
manner by tying a bayonet in his mouth. 

A few such experiences of the regular army 
methods of enforcing discipline soon reduced the 
unruly regiment to order. But its ways were a 
sore trial to the patience of the new Colonel, who 
gave expression, however, to his discontent, in the 
mildest manner. When at drill his whole line was 
thrown into confusion by the inability of the men 
to understand a simple order, Colonel Grant sat 
on his horse in amazement and disgust. Without 
trying to extricate his men from their difficulty, he 
turned to the next in command, and exclaimed, 
" Confound that company, anyhow! " then, wheel- 

74 Ulysses S. Grant. (1861 

ing his horse quickly, he rode off without a word of 
criticism or explanation. The company officers 
extricated the men from the muddle in the best 
way they could ; and they all marched to quarters, 
as the men said, '* feeling a hundred times worse 
than if Grant had raised his voice and sworn till the 
air was blue. " 

The Twenty-first was ordered to Quincy, Illi- 
nois, on July 3, 1861, after the new Colonel had 
devoted three weeks of constant effort to their in- 
struction. His ability was shown in the immediate 
improvement of the regiment in efficiency and dis- 
cipline. He resolved to give them additional in- 
struction in field duty by marching them across the 
country. At the Illinois River he was overtaken by 
a despatch ordering him to remain where he was 
until the coming of a steamer which was to take his 
command down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers 
to St. Louis, en route to Ironton, Missouri. Before 
the boat was ready, orders came hastening them by 
rail to the relief of an Illinois regiment besieged 
near Palmyra, Missouri. They were too late, as the 
besieged regiment had concluded to run away with- 
out waiting for the re-enforcements. 

Grant's next duty was to assist in building a rail- 
road bridge across the Salt River. While at Salt 
River with his regiment, engaged in this work, he 
made an incursion twenty-five miles into the back 
country in search of Confederate troops reported 
there. This time it was the enemy who fled, 
and they were beyond reach before their pursuers 
arrived at their camp. This performance was re- 

18611 Experiences as an Officer. 75 

peated almost as regularly as if there had been an 
understanding, at that stage of the war, that when 
one side advanced, the other was to run away. It 
was Grant's quick appreciation of this peculiarity of 
untrained troops that enabled him to succeed when 
others failed. 

He was next placed in command of a sub-district 
under General Pope, having three regiments of 
infantry and a section of artillery, with headquarters 
at Mexico, Missouri. His first order as a sub-dis- 
trict commander was to forbid entrance into private 
houses or interference with private property. Hav- 
ing some leisure, he brushed up his tactics, and 
drilled his regiment in battalion movements. 

Nicolay and Hay, in their Life of Lincoln, tell this 
story : 

" A short time afterwards, Fremont (then at St. Louis) made a 
preliminary order that Grant's regiment should be transferred to 
Quincy, preparatory to being sent against the bushwackers in northern 
Missouri. Pursuant thereto, the Adjutant-General directed the rail- 
road agent to provide the necessary transportation. The agent went 
in person to Camp Yates to arrange the matter with Colonel Grant. 

" ' How many passenger and how many freight cars do you want?' 
asked the agent. ' I don't want any,' responded Grant bluffly and 
without explanation. 

11 The agent felt insulted, and reported as much to the Adjutant- 
General. The indignant Adjutant-General hurried to Camp Yates, 
and, confronting Colonel Grant, asked why his orders were dis- 
obeyed ? 

11 ' How much time have I in which to get to Quincy?' asked 
Grant unmoved. 

'* ' I don't remember,' replied the Adjutant-General. 

11 ' My written orders,' said Grant, drawing them from his pocket, 
' give me ten days. What must I do when I get to Quincy ? ' ' Go 
to northern Missouri, 1 suppose,' replied the Adjutant-General. 

76 Ulysses S. Grant, 1861 

11 ' Is there a railroad there from Quincy ?' asked Grant. ' I be- 
lieve not,' said the Adjutant-General. 

" ' Shall I wait there until one is built ? ' asked Grant. The Ad- 
jutant-General looked puzzled, and began to think he was dealing 
with a lunatic. Thereupon Grant continued : 

' 'As there is no railway to northern Missouri, and as I cannot 
wait to have one built, it is very clear that I shall have to march. 
Now, as it is generally understood that my regiment is in bad dis- 
cipline, and as I have ten days' time, I ha\e made up my mind that 
I will begin to work in earnest right at once by marching my men 
from here to Ouincy. That was the reason for my answer. I don't 
want any railroad cars, but I do want equipment! for a march.' 

" This style of practical soldiering <>f course created a sensation 
both in camp and town. Grant adhered to his project, obtained his 
wagons, and personally superintended their being loaded with salt 
pork and regular army rations, and led t' e first regiment which ever 
left Springfield on foot, making some ti\e miles the first day. That 
evening he issued an order that the regiment would march next 
morning at ux. Six o*cl me, and many of the men were still 

;>. It was seven before he got them off. The second evening 
he issued another order that on the following morning the regiment 
would march at six, ready or not ready. Morning and six o'clock 
came again ; and the colonel formed his column promptly and 
mptorilj, many of the la. reed into the ranks bare- 

foot, not having time even to put on their shoes, and being forbidden 
to carry them. After a march of two or three miles, the column was 
halted, and the shoes w ere sent for ; and on the succeeding morning, 
the tap of the six o'clock drum found every man ready to fall in. 
Such is one of the local traditions." 

Soon after Grant entered the volunteer service, the 
President asked the Illinois delegation in Congress 
to recommend seven citizens of their State for ap- 
pointment as Brigadier-Generals of Volunteers. 
Colonel Grant's name was first on the list, and his 
appointment was dated from May 17, 1861, the time 
when he was still in the Adjutant-General's office, 
and the month before he became Colonel. This was 

1861] Experiences as a7i Officer. 77 

a striking testimony to the impression which his 
modest merit had made upon public officials; and he 
was gratified to feel that he had attained so much 
more than he had possibly hoped for, without using 
influence of any kind to secure advancement. He 
chose for his aides Lieutenant C. B. Lagow of the 
regiment he commanded, and William J. Hillyer, a 
lawyer of his acquaintance. Neither of these dis- 
played any capacity as a soldier. John A. Rawlins, 
another lawyer, and an able speaker, was appointed 
Adjutant. He was a much happier choice, and con- 
tinued with his chief to the end, rising finally to the 
rank of Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff to the 
General of the Army. 

The officers in high command had taken their 
pick of the best officers in the Regular Army for 
staff duty, and others were obliged to make such 
choice as they could from men who had not been 
instructed in staff duties, and whose abilities as sol- 
diers were unknown quantities. Much of the time 
Grant had to serve as his own adjutant-general, 
quartermaster, commissary, and ordnance officer, 
and to instruct his officers in the details of making 
requisitions for rations and forage. 

How well he understood the character of the vol- 
unteers he commanded, is illustrated by many anec- 
dotes. His experience in civil life saved him from 
the mistakes made by men whose whole training 
had been in the Army, and who dealt with volun- 
teers as they would with regular soldiers. He knew 
how to create a regimental public sentiment that 
favoured discipline, and he made effective use of 

78 Ulysses S. Grant. H861 

the American sense of humour. An officer com- 
manding his advanced guard, who ventured to 
assume the role of the commanding officer, was re- 
ceived with corresponding favour at a farmhouse 
where he stopped. When Grant passed by soon 
after, and asked for a meal at the same house, he 
was curtly told that there was nothing for him. 
General Grant had just been there and eaten up 

everything except one pie. A bargain was made 

for this pie on condition that it should be kept until 
sent for. 

That evening when the brigade was in camp, a 
dress parade was ordered, a very unusual ceremony 

when troops are on the march, especially SO in a 

camp commanded by General Grant. There was 

much excitement among the troops, and all sorts of 

rumours uviv afloat, until, after the usual cere- 
monies, the Adjutant stepped to the front and read 
the following special order: 

" Lieutenant Wickficld. of the Indiana Cavalry, having on this 
day eaten everything in Mr-. Sclvidge's house, at the crossing of the 
Trenton and Pocahontas and Black River and Cape Girardeau roads, 
except one pumpkin pie, Lieutenant Wickheld is hereby ordered to 
return with an escort of one hundred cavalry, and cat that pie also. 
" U. S. Grant, Brigadier-General Commanding." 

The order was received with uproarious merri- 
ment at the expense of the Lieutenant, who was 
obliged to retrace his weary steps to the widow's 
house and eat his humble pie in the presence of his 
imposing escort of cavalry. He never forgot that 
pie; and the men of the command learned that their 


Experiences as an Officer. 


genera] was not to be trifled with, however forbear- 
ing he might be in administering the lesson of 

General Rawlins, in a conversation shortly before 
his death in 1869, said, that, as a young lawyer in 
Galena, he had charge of the legal business of 
Grant's father, and lived next door to Mrs. Lee, a 
half-sister of Grant's mother. Her constant theme 
of conversation was " Ulysses," who was repre- 
sented as the flower of the flock, though he had no 
business talent. XVhru the war opened, Rawlins 
saw " new energies in Grant. A larger career had 
opened before him. . . . He dropped a stooped- 
shouldered way he had when walking, and set his hat 
forward on his forehead in a less careless fashion. 
Yet he never seemed to have an ambition above a 
regimental rank." 





MARKED feature of American to- 
phy is our system of navigable 
rivers. A struggle for the control of 
the Potomac, the Kanawha, and the 
James Rivers, in the Bast, the Mis- 
sissippi, Tenne Cumberland, and the Ohio 
Rivers, in the West, determined lines of movement 
and the operati >f strategy. It was easily seen 
that the power having p sion of the navigable 
streams from their sources to their mouths, was 
master of the country. Armies and military divis- 
3 and departments took their names from them. 
We had the Army of the Potomac, the Armies of 
the Ohio, the Cumberland, the James, and the 

The importance of securing the control of the 
Mississippi River was soon apparent to both parties. 
Early in the war John C. Fremont had been ap- 
pointed Major-General of the Regular Army, and 
given command of the " Western Department," in- 


,861] Seizure of Paducah. 81 

eluding within its boundaries Illinois and the States 
and Territories between the Mississippi and the 
Rocky Mountains. His field of operations was an 
extremely difficult one, as he was practically deal- 
ing with an armed population, — one of the most 
perplexing problems of war. General Grant was 
assigned to a command under Fremont, which gave 
him control of a full district with headquarters at 
Ironton, Missouri. At the time he took command, 
Fremont was threatened in all directions. A large 
Confederate force was on the frontier of Missouri; 
Pillow, with another body, threatened Cairo; Lyons 
was holding a superior force in check at Springfield ; 
Thompson was threatening Cape Girardeau; and 
Hardee was advancing upon Ironton, where Grant 
was in command. Grant prepared immediately for 
action: but before he could move, General B. M. 
Prentiss arrived with orders to take command of the 
district; and General Grant, being the senior officer, 
and not subject to the control of his junior, started 
for St. Louis, where he was assigned to a more 
important command at Jefferson City, having been 
in command at Ironton only ten days. 

At Jefferson City, where he arrived August 17, 
1861, Grant found Colonel James A. Mulligan, an 
enthusiastic but untrained Irish soldier, in com- 
mand of the 23d Illinois Volunteers, known as the 
' Irish Brigade." The city was in great confusion, 
and filled with fugitives, claiming to be sympa- 
thisers with the Government, fleeing from the at- 
tacks of the guerilla bands. It was a time when, 
in Missouri at least, a man's enemies were those of 

82 Ulysses S. Gra?it. L1861 

his own household ; and friend was divided against 
friend, and neighbour against neighbour. 

At this period of his career the military authori- 
ties appear to have been drilling their new briga- 
dier-general in the art of rapid locomotion. He no 
sooner appeared in one place than he was ordered to 
another. Colonel Jefferson C. Davis presented him- 
self on August 27th, with orders for Grant to yield 
ssion to him, and report to Fremont at St. 
Louis for special instruction. Within an hour he 
had turned over his command, and was on his way 

to St. Louis with a single aide, to report for duty. 

Fremont held at this time an important command; 
.md he was fully conscious of the dignity of his 
own personality, assuming a state and a formality 
that were quite exceptional for American com- 
manders. Grant found him as difficult of access as 
McClellan; and. as he was under orders now, he 
was obliged to wait upon Fremont's convenience, 
being much too modest a man to do as Sherman 
did on a similar occasion, and give the orderly in 
attendance peremptory orders to admit him at once 
to the presence of the General. After sitting for 
some hours upon a bench in the dark hall, he recog- 
nised General McKinstry, who was passing, and who 
had known him at West Point. Telling the story 
of this interview, General McKinstry says : 

" Turning at the salutation, and seeing that it was General Grant, 
I said ' Sam, what are you doing here ? ' He replied that he had 
been ordered down by General Pope from Jefferson City to report to 
General Fremont, and had been seated there since early in the morn- 
ing, endeavoring to comply with that order. I told him that was 

1861] Seizure of Paducah. 83 

all right, and that I would see that he had an audience. I was 
called upon by General Fremont for my views as to the proper man. 
I replied that I had just the man, and that I had left him down stairs 
waiting an audience with the general. That man was General Grant, 
with whom I had served in Mexico, and whose gallantry I had wit- 
nessed on the battlefields surrounding the City of Mexico. 1 said 
that I knew him to be one of the most gallant of men, that in my 
judgment the country at that particular moment wished to fight, and 
the sooner we commenced, the sooner we should have a reliable 
army, and that Grant was the man to do that fighting and was a man 
on whom they could rely." 

General Fremont says of this interview with 
Grant : 

" He impressed me very strongly. I saw that he had the soldierly 
qualities of self-poise, modesty, decision, attention to details. I told 
him what I wanted for Cairo ; we discussed all the points for two or 
three hours. I told him the purpose was to make Cairo, with 
Paducah opposite it, the base of important operations against Mem- 
phis and Nashville, assisted by Foote's fleet of gunboats running on 
the river between. During Grant's call I consulted other officers 
about him, and was warmly urged not to appoint him, for reasons 
that were well known. Grant's own presence was sufficient to 
counteract the influence of what they said, and before he left I offered 
him the command at Cairo, and he accepted it. 

"Just before he left I said to him : ' General, I would like to 
have you wear your uniform.' He said that he had just given away 
his colonel's uniform, but as soon as his brigadier's uniform came, 
which he had ordered, he should of course wear it. I then explained 
that there were special reasons why officers in St. Louis should ap- 
pear in their uniforms. Disloyal citizens had attempted to intimi- 
date uniformed officers, and some of the latter had compromised with 
disloyalty so far as to leave off their uniforms whenever they could. " 

The special instructions received by Grant at St. 
Louis directed him to take command of the import- 
ant district of southwestern Missouri, with head- 

84 Ulysses S. Grant H861 

quarters at Cape Girardeau, where he arrived on 
August 30, 1 861. His district was forthwith ex- 
tended to include southern Illinois; and September 
4th he made another move, establishing his head- 
quarters at Cairo, Illinois. 

The appearance of General Grant before the 
august Fremont without uniform was explained by 
the fact that his uniform as a brigadier-general had 
not yet arrived from New York, and he was com- 
pelled to wear citizen's dress for a month after he 
had received his appointment as a general officer. 
When the plain little man in " cits," as the West 
Point cadets call them, appeared at Cairo, sat down 
in the office of Colonel Richard Oglesby, and wrote 
an order relieving Oglesby from command of the 
post, the colonel did not at first know whether to 
obey the order or to put the writer under arrest. 
Rawlins, who was then a civilian, visited Grant at 
Cairo. Describing this visit, he said Grant " had 
an office in a great bank there, and I was amazed at 
the quick, prompt way in which he handled the 
multitude of letters, requisitions, and papers, sitting 
behind the cashier's window hole, with a waste 
basket under him, and orderlies to despatch busi- 
ness as he did." The official orders issued by 
Grant, even at this early stage of his career, showed 
the trained and experienced soldier. 

Cairo was at this time an extremely important 
military position, as from it operations could be 
directed against the border States of Missouri, Ken- 
tucky, and Tennessee. The people of these States 
were opposed by large majorities to the doctrine of 

1861] Seizure of Paduc ah. 85 

secession ; but they did not favour the policy of 
coercing the seceding Southern States, with which 
they were allied by their common hostility to North- 
ern interference with slavery. They endeavoured 
to maintain an impossible position of neutrality, 
and to act as buffer States, holding the belligerents 
apart. Both parties to the quarrel were warned by 
the border States to respect the neutrality of their 
territory, and, in the case of Kentucky especially, 
both made a show of doing so. It was impossible, 
however, for these States to escape the general con- 
flagration, when the flames of war were lighted in 
every election district, and political prejudice and 
hostility were daily becoming more uncontrollably 

By June, 1861, Tennessee had decided to cast its 
lot with the seceding States, and stringent measures 
were adopted by the State authorities to suppress 
the Union sentiment which still controlled the 
mountain district of East Tennessee. Kentucky, by 
heavy popular majorities, repeatedly refused to ally 
itself with the Confederacy ; but it maintained its 
nominal neutrality until September, 1861, when its 
Union Legislature met, and passed resolutions di- 
recting the Governor to order the Confederate or 
Tennessee troops to withdraw unconditionally from 
Kentucky soil. They answered that they would 
withdraw if the Federal troops would withdraw also. 
Another resolution was promptly passed by the 
Legislature, declaring that this condition was an in- 
sult " to which Kentucky cannot listen without dis- 
honour," and " that the invader must be expelled." 

86 Ulysses S. Grant 


Up to this time both belligerents had treated 
Kentucky with great consideration, but each was 
eager to take advantage of some of the strong 
positions within her territory. On June 25, 1861, 
Leonidas Polk, a graduate of the Military Academy, 
and at that time the Episcopal bishop of the diocese 
of Louisiana, was commissioned Major-General in 
the " Provisional Army of the Confederate States," 
and assigned to a command intended to give him 
control of the Mississippi River, with headquarters 
at Memphis, Tennessee. Missouri was not included 
in his command ; but he had authority to enter that 
State, if action on the part of the Federal Govern- 
ment compelled him to do so. 

As the result of Lyon's vigorous action, Polk had 
turned a large force into Missouri, and was exerting 
himself to occupy the attention of the Union troops 
as much as possible, so that he might gain time to 
perfect his plans for defending the Mississippi. It 
was Polk's movement which had occupied the atten- 
tion of General Grant while he was in Missouri. 
Though the Confederates had been successful with 
a superior force in overcoming Lyon at Wilson's 
Creek on August 10, 1861, no profitable result had 
followed their barren victory there, and by the end 
of August their plans for the relief of Missouri had 
been abandoned. 

Fremont had ordered Grant to concentrate sev- 
eral detachments in Southwestern Missouri, to 
drive out the enemy, and to destroy a secession 
camp reported to be at Belmont. In this order 
General Fremont said, " It is intended to occupy 

1861] Seizure of Paducah. 87 

Columbus, Kentucky, as soon as possible." Colum- 
bus was immediately opposite Belmont on the 
Kentucky shore of the Mississippi. Columbus was 
Grant's real objective point in this movement against 
Belmont, and he had asked that he might be allowed 
to take that place. Before he reached Belmont he 
discovered, through a gunboat reconnaissance, that 
Polk was already advancing on Columbus in force, 
and that he himself was too late to secure that posi- 
tion, as he might have done if he had received 
the permission to take it at the time he asked for it. 
Polk's action relieved the situation, for it made it 
clear that there was no further occasion for respect- 
ing the neutrality of Kentucky. 

With sound military judgment, Grant promptly 
decided that the time had come for action in Ken- 
tucky. He returned to Cairo with his little force of 
two regiments and one battalion, and hurriedly organ- 
ised an expedition of two gunboats, with eighteen 
hundred men and sixteen field guns, the gunboats 
being under his orders. With this force he hastened 
to Paducah, forty-eight miles above Cairo on the op- 
posite side of the Ohio, at the mouth of the Tennessee 
River. He also sent a detachment to occupy Smith- 
land, just below the mouth of the Cumberland. He 
met with no opposition ; but he was only a few hours 
ahead of the Confederates, who had contemplated 
the same movement. Grant had been informed of 
their plans for seizing Paducah, and his prompt 
action September 6, 1861, completely disconcerted 

On September 13th the Confederate General, 

88 Ulysses S. Grant M861 

Buckner, wrote to Richmond, saying, " Our posses- 
sion at Columbus is already neutralized by that of 
Paducah." The occupation of Columbus and of 
Paducah was so nearly simultaneous, that each 
party had the privilege of abusing the other for its 
violation of neutral territory. The abandoned Mis- 
souri campaign had given General Polk the command 
of 6000 men under General Gideon J. Pillow; and it 
was with this force that he had occupied Columbus, 
moving Pillow's troops across the river from New 
Madrid on the Missouri shore, which had been in 
his possession since July 28, 1861. Grant had 
telegraphed to Department Headquarters for per- 
mission to make his movement against Paducah. 
Receiving no reply, he promptly acted on his own 
responsibility. He informed the Legislature of 
Kentucky of his action, and received the approval 
of the majority of that body. For this correspond- 
ence with the State Legislature he was reprimanded 
from Washington, and warned not to repeat the 
offence. Polk, whose action was equally a violation 
of the sacredness of Kentucky soil, received a de- 
spatch from Jefferson Davis at Richmond, saying, 

The necessity justified the action." The same 
necessity would have led to the occupation of Padu- 
cah by the Confederates, if Grant had not been too 
quick for Polk, moving the very day after he 
assumed command at Cairo. 

Active operations in Grant's department were 
now transferred to the soil of Kentucky, and his 
position at Cairo grew in importance. Considered 
as a place of residence, Cairo was scarcely an 

1861] Seizure of Paducah. 89 

" Eden," though Dickens has given it that name in 
his Martin Chuzzlewit, where it is described by 
Mr. Kettle as "an awfully lovely place — sure-ly, 
and frightfully wholesome. " It is, as a matter of 
fact, a low, marshy, boot-shaped peninsula, pro- 
tected from the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers by 
levees. Its jet-black soil was at that time full of the 
suggestions of disease, and pestiferous insects were 
numerous. Writing of Cairo, the Army humourist, 
John Phoenix, said, ' The season is usually opened 
with great dclat by small-pox, continued spiritedly 
by cholera and closed up brilliantly with yellow 

These descriptions show that the disadvantages 
of Cairo as a residence could easily be exaggerated ; 
but not so its advantages as a military position. 
The Ohio River, rising among the Pennsylvania 
Alleghanies, and running for one thousand miles 
along the line between the Northern and Southern 
States, empties into the Mississippi at Cairo, and 
there connects with the system of water navigation, 
extending for one thousand miles farther south, and 
another thousand miles northward to St. Paul, Min- 
nesota. Cairo is in the southern extremity of Illi- 
nois, where the eastern and western boundaries of 
the State meet in a salient angle, interposed between 
the States of Kentucky and Missouri. Standing, as 
it does, at the junction of two great water courses, 
its strategic importance is apparent. It is the key 
to the Mississippi Valley, and, as the terminus of 
the Illinois Central Railroad, it is in communication 
with the railroad system of the North. 

90 Ulysses S. Grant. M86! 

Governor Yates, of Illinois, had the foresight to 
garrison Cairo as early as April 23, 1861, with such 
feeble forces as he had at his command. It was 
threatened by an attack from New Madrid when 
Grant was ordered there, but his vigorous action 
soon changed the conditions of the problem in that 
region. Columbus was the headquarters of the 
forces of the enemy which were observing and 
threatening Cairo. Had they secured the control 
of Paducah, the position of Cairo would have been 
precarious. Its possession gave the Federal forces 
a great strategic advantage; and, until Columbus 
was secured, the Confederate, had no defensible 
position on the Mississippi farther north than Fort 
Pillow, two hundred and fifteen miles below Cairo. 

( >f the few positions capable of effective defence 
found on the low banks of the Mississippi, Colum- 
bus was one of the best, and it had the advantage 
of being within eighteen miles of Cairo. It was on 
a high bluff commanding the river for five miles. 
Its works were of great strength, consisting of 
tier upon tier of batteries on the river front, and a 
strong parapet and ditch covered by thick abatis on 
the land side. Polk described this position as " the 
Gibraltar of the West," and declared that he could 
hold it against any force while the supplies he had 
for six months held out. The town of Columbus 
itself is described, at this time, as a straggling col- 
lection of brick blocks, frame houses, and whiskey 
saloons. As one of the means of defence against 
the advancing gunboats, Pillow, when in command, 
stretched a cable of seven-eighth-inch iron across 

1861] J > at tic of Belmont. 91 

the river, and gathered a large quantity of torpedoes, 
all of which proved worthless. 

On November 5, 1861, Fremont telegraphed to 
Grant that the enemy were re-enforcing Price's 
army in Missouri from Columbus, and directed him 
to make a demonstration immediately against Co- 
lumbus. Colonel Oglesby, who was in Grant's 
command, had just undertaken an expedition against 
the partisan leader, " Jeff' Thompson. Oglesby 
was telegraphed to change the direction of his col- 
umn towards New Madrid ; and on the evening of 
November 6, Grant started from Cairo with 3 114 
men of all arms of the service, in transports con- 
voyed by two gunboats. He also telegraphed to 
General C. F. Smith, who had an independent com- 
mand at Paducah, requesting him also to make a 
demonstration against Columbus. On the afternoon 
of November 7, Grant received information that the 
enemy had been sending troops across from Colum- 
bus to Belmont to cut off Oglesby; and he resolved 
to make an immediate and vigorous attack on Bel- 
mont, under the cover of his gunboats to which he 
could retreat in case of extremity. As Belmont was 
on low ground, and thoroughly commanded by guns 
on the opposite shore, he knew it would be impos- 
sible to hold the place after taking it. 

That evening he landed at Hunter's Point, three 
miles above Belmont, and discovered the Confed- 
erate camp located in a large open field, where it was 
protected by the river on one side, and by a line of 
felled trees, or abatis, on the other. The single 
regiment of the enemy was found outside of the 

92 Ulysses S. Grant C1861 

abatis, and after a sharp skirmish retreated behind 
it. Grant's men charged through this defence, and 
drove the enemy under the cover of the bank, where 
they received re-enforcements of five regiments from 
the opposite side of the river, and endeavoured to 
cut off Grant's retreat to his transports. They were 
driven back, and the Union troops were hurried 
aboard the boat. Grant, who was one of the last 
to embark, narrowly escaped capture. ' In face of 
the advancing enemy, his horse slid down the river 
bank on its haunches and trotted on board a trans- 
port over a plank thrust out for him. ' ' The advance 
and retreat had been a running fight, and towards the 
end the Union troops were under the fire of heavy 
guns posted on the heights of the opposite shore. 
In the quarters of the enemy deserted camp-fires 
were found burning, dinners cooking; half-written 
letters were scattered about, and there was every 
evidence of a hasty retreat. Tents, blankets, etc., 
were set on fire and destroyed, and two pieces of 
artillery were carried away. Four other guns, which 
it was found impossible to remove, were spiked, and 
left on the road to the landing. The purpose of the 
demonstration against Belmont was not understood 
at the time, and Grant rested under the stigma of 
having made an unsuccessful attempt to capture 
Columbus. The attack was one of the five serious 
engagements of the year 1861, — Bull Run (Virginia), 
Wilson's Creek (Missouri), Lexington (Missouri), 
and Ball's Bluff (Virginia) being the others, — and 
with it ended the serious operations of that year. 
It had not only accomplished its purpose of pre- 
venting the re-enforcement of Price, but it had in- 


HsJf if* £ 

. MX/ K 



1861] Battle of Belmont, 93 

spired Grant's troops with confidence, which was of 
great service in the future. At the same time the 
Confederates, not improperly, claimed it as a vic- 
tory, Grant having retired without accomplishing 
his purpose of driving them permanently from their 
camp, which was re-occupied as soon as he left. 

The Federal movement against Columbus in West 
Kentucky was coincident with a similar movement 
in the eastern part of that State in the interest of 
the Confederacy. At the southwestern extremity of 
Virginia is the narrow pass through the Cumberland 
Mountains known as " Cumberland Gap." This 
pass was occupied September 5, 1861, by the enter- 
prising Southern general, Zollicoffer; and he passed 
through it into Kentucky on September 10th with 
five regiments, and prepared for an attack on the 
Kentucky Home Guard assembled in Camp Robin- 
son. The next day the Union Legislature of Ken- 
tucky adopted a resolution, which was subsequently 
passed a second time over the Governor's veto, 
ordering the Confederate forces from the soil of 
Kentucky. General Robert Anderson, a native of 
Kentucky, whose gallant defence at Fort Sumter 
had given him a national reputation, was requested 
to take military command in Kentucky, and to 
organise a force of volunteers. 

This was the final declaration of Kentucky's hos- 
tility to the Confederacy; before the Legislature 
adjourned, enlistments for the Confederate Army 
had been declared to be a misdemeanour, and the 
invasion of the State by Confederate soldiers a fel- 
ony. It was ordered that 40,000 volunteers be 
enlisted and mustered into the United States Serv- 

94 Ulysses S. Grant [1861 

ice to repel invasion. The Confederate forces at 
this time were occupying the line along the bound- 
ary between Kentucky and North Tennessee. Zol- 
licoffer was at Cumberland Gap, and Buckner at 
Bowling Green, which he had occupied on Septem- 
ber 18, explaining to the Kentuckians that this was 
merely a measure of defence, while Polk occupied 
Columbus at the western extremity of the State. 
The Union line ran irregularly through the centre of 
Kentucky. Positions were occupied by the Union 
forces at Paducah and Port Holt on the Kentucky 
side of the Ohio River, and at Bride's Point, Cairo, 
Mound City, Evansville, and New Albany, on the 
northern side of the river. These were considered 
sufficient, with the gunboats, to guard the Ohio 
from Louisville to its mouth. 

Nothing more than defensive action was expected. 
General Anderson, who had broken down physically, 
was relieved at Louisville, October 8, 1861, by Gen- 
eral W. T. Sherman ; and Sherman was oppressed 
by the dangers of his position, and a lack of suffi- 
cient troops to enable him to resist the aggressive 
movements of the enemy. He reported that with a 
front of over three hundred miles to guard, from 
Big Sandy to Paducah, he had fewer troops than 
either McClellan on his left, or Fremont on the 
right, each of whom had a front of less than one 
hundred miles. Men were abundant, but arms were 
scarce, and it was found impossible to equip troops 
properly with sufficient rapidity to meet the constant 
demands for re-enforcement that came from every 

?86i] Battle of Belmont. 95 

Halleck, who relieved Fremont in command at 
St. Louis, November 9, 1861, two days after Bel- 
mont, changed the name of Grant's district from the 
District of Southeastern Missouri to the District of 
Cairo, and added to his command the district com- 
manded by General C. F. Smith, embracing the 
mouths of the Tennessee and the Cumberland. 
Grant, whose voice was always for war, had twice 
asked permission to make a serious attack upon 
Columbus, believing that every day added to its 
strength, and that he was relatively better off than 
he would be later on. He could not obtain the 
necessary permission, and for the three following 
months there was a period of inaction all along the 
line. McClellan had accomplished nothing in the 
East beyond organising his troops; Buell, who was 
in command of the Department of the Ohio, was 
not acting in concert with Halleck; and the most 
persistent urging from President Lincoln secured 
from these two officers, and from McClellan, nothing 
but dilatory and unsatisfactory promises of future 
action. They asked for time to strengthen them- 
selves, and to put their troops in better condition 
for action. 

Grant's command suffered the same want of 
organisation, the same deficiency of arms, equip- 
ment, transportation, and supplies, which others 
complained of; but he always held, and acted upon, 
the belief that the time required to improve his 
own position would equally strengthen that of the 
enemy. He was like an eager hound, straining in 
the leash that he might get at his quarry. 




1ANUARY 3, 1862, General Buell, 
commanding the Department of the 
Ohio, wrote to Gereral Halleck, who 
commanded the Department of the 
Missouri, that " the great power of 

the Rebellion in the West is arrayed " on a line 
from Columbus to Bowling Green. Bowling Green, 
Kentucky, was one hundred and sixty miles east of 
Columbus, Kentucky, — the town on the Mississippi 
River, which had been seized and fortified by Polk 
in September, 1861, as an outwork for the defence 
of Nashville against a movement from the North, 
and as a position giving opportunity for offensive 
returns. It is near the junction of two important 
railroads, one connecting Louisville with Nashville, 
and the other running from Louisville to Memphis, 
and at the head of navigation on the Barre River 
fork of the Green River, which runs north, and emp- 
ties into the Ohio near Evansville, Indiana. 

The line from Bowling Green westward to Colum- 


1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 97 

bus was crossed by the Tennessee and Cumberland 
Rivers. To prevent the use of these rivers as a 
means of penetrating Tennessee, the Confederates 
had erected forts near the points where they crossed 
the boundary from Tennessee into Kentucky. One 
of these works was Fort Henry, situated on the east 
bank of the Tennessee; another was Fort Heiman, 
a partially completed work on a bluff just across the 
river from Fort Henry. Twelve miles east of Fort 
Henry was Fort Donelson, a strong work on the 
west bank of the Cumberland River. These three 
forts were at the centre of the imaginary line run- 
ning direct from Bowling Green to Columbus and 
somewhat south of it. Their capture would turn 
both of these important positions, and compel sur- 
render or evacuation. 

Learning that an attempt would be made to re- 
enforce Buckner at Bowling Green, Halleck ordered 
Grant, on January 6, 1862, to make such a demon- 
stration against Fort Donelson as to convey the 
impression that this movement was part of a con- 
certed operation against Nashville, Tennessee. The 
ever-ready Grant made immediate preparations to 
obey, and arranged with Flag-Officer Foote of the 
Navy to secure the co-operation of his gunboats. 
He wrote to Halleck: " The continuous rains for 
the last week or more have rendered the roads ex- 
tremely bad, and will necessarily make our move- 
ments slow." This was not offered as an excuse for 
inaction ; and he added in the same despatch, M This, 
however, will operate worse upon an enemy, if he 
should come out to meet us, than upon us." 

98 Ulysses S. Grant H862 

11 My son," said an old Cossack general to McClel- 
lan, who asked him how the roads were in Napo- 
leon's time, " the roads are always bad in war." 

Grant's movement was delayed by Halleck's orders 
until January 12, 1862. Then, with various march- 
ings and counter-matchings to mislead the enemy, 
he advanced one column of five thousand men under 
McClernand to Mayfield, Kentucky, twenty-six miles 
south of Paducah, midway between Fort Henry on 
the Tennessee, and Columbus on the Mississippi. 
This placed McClernand in a position to threaten 
both of these Confederate strongholds, and he pushed 
the reconnaissance nearly up to Columbus. General 
C. F. Smith, another officer under Grant's command, 
marched to Paducah, on a general line parallel to 
the Tennessee, until he was in the vicinity of Fort 
Henry. Grant went up the Tennessee with Flag- 
Officer Foote and his three gunboats as far as Fort 
Henry, where Foote drew the fire of the fort, and 
answered it with a few shells. No serious demon- 
stration was intended, however, and, having diverted 
attention from the re-enforcement of Bowling Green, 
the troops returned. " The reconnaissance thus 
made," as McClernand reported, " completed a 
march of one hundred and forty miles by the cav- 
alry, and seventy-five by infantry, over icy and 
miry roads during the most inclement season." It 
was excellent practice for the raw troops, and it 
demonstrated the possibility of a successful move- 
ment against Forts Donelson and Henry, which was 
destined to bear fruit ere long. On January 20, 
1862, Halleck wrote to McClellan: 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 99 

" This line of the Cumberland or Tennessee is the 
great central line of the western theatre of war, with 
the Ohio below the mouth of the Green River [that 
is, near Evansville, Indiana] as the base, and two 
good navigable rivers [the Cumberland and Tennes- 
see] extending far into the Interior of the theatre of 

Recognising the importance of this line, neither 
Halleck nor Buell made any move to take advantage 
of his knowledge. On January 22, 1862, General 
Smith made another reconnaissance to within two 
and one half miles of Fort Henry, and reported that 
the river had risen fourteen feet since the last visit. 
He believed that two ironclads could capture the 
place. Grant and Foote accordingly decided that 
an attack was advisable, and Grant hastened to St. 
Louis to secure authority to make the movement. 
Halleck refused permission, and snubbed Grant so 
badly that he returned very much crestfallen. On 
January 28th, Foote joined his entreaties to those of 
Grant in a telegram to Halleck, and Grant at the 
same time again asked that he might be allowed to 
take " Fort Henry on the Tennessee and establish 
and hold a large camp there." Receiving no reply 
to this despatch, he telegraphed again the next day, 
and still more emphatically. 

Meanwhile, news of an important victory by 
General Thomas over Zollicoffer, at Mill Springs, 
in Eastern Kentucky, gave courage to the halting 
Halleck. He also received a further stimulus to 
action in the information that Beauregard was on 
his way with fifteen regiments from Virginia to re- 

ioo Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

enforce Johnston in Kentucky. ' I was not ready 
to move," Halleck said, ' but deemed it best to 
anticipate the arrival of Beauregard's forces." It 
would appear that somebody was ready to move, if 
Halleck was not. His weakness was an unwilling- 
ness to assume responsibility. He was intellectually 
strong, and had a very unusual knowledge of war as 
a science, but when it came to action he hesitated, 
1 letting I dare not wait upon I would." As Grant 
said, " He would never take a chance in battle. A 
general who will never take a chance in battle will 
never fight one." 

On January 30, 1862, Haileck telegraphed to 
Grant: ** Make your preparations to take and hold 
Fort Henry. I will send you written instructions 
by mail." These instructions were received Feb- 
ruary 1st. The next day Grant began to embark 
15,000 men in transports, ready for his passage up 
the Tennessee from Paducah. Two days later, on 
February 4th, he started with one half of his force, 
accompanied by Flag-Officer Foote of the Navy, 
with seven gunboats, four of them lightly armoured. 
That afternoon, McClernand with his division was 
landed four miles below Fort Henry; and Grant 
hastened back to Paducah, sixty miles down the 
river, to bring up the rest of his command. Lacking 
transports, he was obliged to move his two divisions 
separately. February 5th there was a reconnais- 
sance by the troops belonging to McClernand's 
division, and General Smith joined Grant with his 
division. The movement to invest the fort began 
February 6, 1862. The troops had eight miles to 


1862] Forts Henry and Done /son. ior 

march, over roads heavy with mud, and across 
swollen streams that required bridging. The gun- 
boats had only half that distance to move by steam 
power, and they arrived sufficiently in advance to 
open fire on the fort before the troops were in posi- 
tion to invest it. 

General Tilghman, who commanded at Fort Henry, 
had that morning sent orders to his infantry — three 
thousand in all, who were manning the outworks 
two miles from the fort — to retreat to Fort Donelson, 
holding his single company of artillery to man his 
guns. Fourteen of these guns commanded the river, 
and were mounted in five bastions; five other guns 
commanded the approaches by land. The fort itself 
was an excellent piece of engineering work, and was 
solidly constructed of earth. During the bombard- 
ment by the fleet, which continued for one hour and 
a quarter, one gun in the fort burst, another was 
disabled by a broken priming wire, and five were 
disabled by the fire from the gunboats. Three 
others had been drowned out by the rise of the river 
before the attack. Having only four heavy guns 
left, Tilghman decided to surrender Fort Henry, 
which made the best record, in the promptness of 
its submission, of all posts seriously defended during 
the war. Fort Heiman was also surrendered. 

On February 6, 1862, Grant telegraphed to Hal- 
leck, " Fort Henry is ours," adding, " I shall take 
and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th and return to 
Fort Henry." The same day McClellan, who had 
not yet heard of the capture of Fort Henry, sug- 
gested to Halleck and Buell a rapid combined move- 

102 Ulysses S. Grant. [i862 

ment up the Tennessee and Cumberland. Buell 
replied that it would require from fifty thousand 
to sixty thousand men. Halleck thought that if 
he had ten thousand more men, he could take Fort 
Henry. Grant, with two divisions, and the valuable 
assistance of the gunboats, had frightened the Con- 
federates out of Fort Henry, and captured the 
place without waiting for re-enforcements. If the 
gunboats had captured the fort, it was the advance 
of the troops which compelled the withdrawal of the 
garrison to Fort Donelson. 

The fall of this fort, and the possession of the 
Tennessee River that resulted from it, cut off the 
Confederate Army at Bowling Green from commu- 
nication with Polk's forces at Columbus. Orders to 
evacuate Bowling Green were immediately given on 
February 7th. The evacuation began on the nth, 
and was completed on the 13th. 

February 9th, Beauregard wrote, " The loss of 
Fort Donelson (God grant it may not fall) would be 
followed by consequences too lamentable to be now 
alluded to." 

Could Grant have carried out his plan of attack- 
ing Fort Donelson on February 8th, he would have 
found but six thousand men to oppose him, but 
there was an enemy he had not reckoned with. 

The floods came and the winds blew." He re- 
ported: " I contemplated taking Fort Donelson 
to-day with infantry and cavalry alone, but all my 
troops may be kept busily engaged in saving what 
we have from the rapidly rising waters." He was 
not able to move on Donelson until February 12th. 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 103 

By that time the enemy had been able to gather 
twenty thousand men in the fort, with John B. 
Floyd as the senior officer, Pillow and Buckner 
being his immediate subordinates. They held a 
strong position, and exerted themselves to the 
utmost up to the last moment to make it still 

Fort Donelson was a bastioned work, standing on 
a bluff one hundred feet above the Cumberland 
River, with flanks guarded by two creeks whose 
valleys were filled by the overflow from the river 
during this season of high water. In the rear of the 
fort was a series of irregular ridges surmounted by 
earthworks. A bend in the stream at this point 
gave the guns of the fort control of everything 
within range. On the slope of the bluff, between 
the fort and the river, water batteries were erected 
thirty feet above the level of the stream. It was a 
difficult place to assault ; and ironclads were of less 
avail there than at Fort Henry, owing to the high 
elevation of the fort, and the fact that the boats 
were obliged to approach '* head on," and could 
use only their three bow guns. 

Grant decided to leave General Lew Wallace 
with 2500 men to hold Fort Henry, and to advance 
against Fort Donelson with his remaining 15,000 
without waiting for the re-enforcements which Hal- 
leck was hurrying to him. With sublime faith in 
the virtue of audacity, he resolved to move against 
a superior force holding a fortified position. The 
whole country was afloat with freshets, and he was 
obliged to march from Fort Henry over muddy 

104 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

roads and through falling snow. He carried no 
transportation, and his only artillery was eight field 
batteries. For some reason no attempt was made 
to contest his march ; and he met with no opposition 
until he encountered the pickets of the force imme- 
diately in front of Donelson, at about noon on Feb- 
ruary 1 2th. The remainder of that day was spent 
in " developing " the enemy's position, and acquir- 
ing an idea of the " lay " of the ground. That night 
was a dismal one for the men, who were without 
shelter, and had only what they carried in their knap- 
sacks and haversacks. 

Foote had sailed from Cairo with his boats, on 
February u, 1862, and re-enforcements were on 
their way. On the 13th, as they had not yet arrived, 
orders were sent to Wallace to leave Fort Henry to 
care for itself, and hurry forward with his brigade. 
Meanwhile the work of closing in on Fort Donelson 
continued, and an assault was attempted against a 
salient position. It was not successful, but it mis- 
led the besieged as to the strength of the attacking 
force. One gunboat, the Carondelet, arrived on the 
morning of the 13th, and the others toward night. 
With the gunboats came transports bringing re- 
enforcements and supplies. 

That night there was a heavy wind, with snow. 
The lines were too near together to permit fires to 
be lighted, and the troops suffered severely. Some 
of them had, with the improvidence of recruits, 
thrown away their blankets, and they sat up all 
night, hugging themselves to keep warm. 

On the 14th, Wallace arrived from Fort Henry. 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 105 

The day was occupied in skirmishing, and in re- 
adjusting the lines to make a place for the new- 
comers. Without waiting for Grant, the impetuous 
Foote, remembering his experiences at Fort Henry, 
resolved upon an attack with his fleet alone. The 
result was disastrous. In ninety minutes every ves- 
sel in the fleet was disabled, and was drifting down 
the river, wholly unmanageable. Ten men had been 
killed, and forty-four wounded, including the Flag- 
Officer. No damage had been done to the fort. 

The failure of the gunboat attack prevented an 
assault from the land side that had been determined 
upon. On the night of Friday, February 14th, the 
thermometer fell to ten degrees below zero, and many 
men were frozen. The next morning the soldiers, 
stiffened with cold, moved reluctantly to their task, 
over the frozen snow and through the biting frost. 
But their work was nearly accomplished. The Con- 
federate commander, General Floyd, had little con- 
fidence in himself, and, fearing lest he should be 
caught like a rat in a trap, he resolved to withdraw 
while he could, and made an attack to force an 
opening through Grant's lines. The attack began 
early in the day ; Grant was absent at the time, 
having ridden down before dawn to the river, in 
response to a request from the disabled Foote that 
he would come to consult with him. It was decided 
that the gunboats be sent to Cairo for repairs, the 
troops holding a line of investment during their 

When Grant, on his return to his lines from his 
visit to Foote, discerned the situation of affairs, he 

106 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

despatched a message to the Commodore, asking 
that he would delay the departure of his vessels and 
make a show of attacking, if it was only by firing a 
few shells at long range. Pillow had turned Mc- 
Clernand's right by a bold assault, driving him back 
in confusion, and had opened a line of retreat for 
the besieged garrison. General Buckner, who at- 
tacked McClernand's left, was repulsed, and with- 
drew to his intrenchments. Grant arrived on the 
ground at one o'clock, and immediately ordered C. 
F. Smith, who held the left of his line, to prepare 
for an assault. He then hastened to the right of his 
line to arrange for a co-operative movement by the 
troops in position there. 

Smith assaulted at two o'clock, and carried an im- 
portant outwork after a gallant and spirited attack. 
Lew Wallace in the centre, and McClernand on the 
left, advanced at the same time, and regained the 
ground lost in the morning. This closed up the lines 
of investment, and deprived the enemy of their op- 
portunity for escape. Pillow telegraphed to Rich- 
mond : " The day is ours. I have repulsed the 
enemy at all points, but I want re-enforcements." 
He met his officers in counsel that night, in a little 
tavern at Dover, a village within his lines, and de- 
cided that their case was hopeless. 

Sunday morning, February 16th, a negro came 
into Grant's lines with a report that the enemy were 
debating about a surrender, and that Floyd was 
already leaving. The Confederate Commander, in 
addition to the weight of his own incapacity, carried 
the heavy burden of a guilty conscience. He had 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 107 

no idea of being carried North a prisoner, to answer 
for his treacherous management of the War Depart- 
ment in the closing days of his administration as 
Secretary of War under Buchanan. Floyd and Pil- 
low distrusted each other, with good reason, and 
Buckner despised them both. Instead of remaining 
with his troops, Floyd turned the command over to 
Pillow, acknowledging that " personal reasons pre- 
vented him from taking part in a capitulation"; 
and that night he put 1500 of his command on 
steamers. Pillow and his staff joined him, and 
together they made their escape up the river. The 
cavalry general, Forrest, at the same time marched 
out by the river road with three hundred or four 
hundred of his command. 

At dawn on February 16, 1862, General Buckner 
sent a flag of truce to Grant, asking for an armistice 
until noon, and for the appointment of commission- 
ers to settle upon terms of capitulation. Grant 
replied : 

" No terms except unconditional and immediate 
surrender can be accepted. I propose to move im- 
mediately upon your works." 

With a sharp comment upon the want of chivalry 
in such conditions, Buckner accepted them, and 
surrendered the fort, with sixty-five cannon, about 
seventeen thousand small arms, and some fourteen 
thousand prisoners. The Confederates lost alto- 
gether, in killed, wounded, and missing, 2,331 men. 
The prisoners taken had suffered severely from 
cold, lack of food, and want of sleep. Their ap- 
pearance gave pathetic proof of the poverty of the 

108 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

South in equipment for war, and of its willingness 
to suffer and endure for its cause. In place of 
blankets, many of the men carried square pieces of 
carpet cut from the floors of their impoverished 
homes, home-made " comforters," and bed-covers. 
Some bore feather beds on their backs, and among 
their personal arms were knives beaten out of files 
and saw-plates by village blacksmiths. 

Grant's men suffered with equal severity. They 
were better equipped, but were unaccustomed to 
campaigning; and they had not learned how to make 
themselves comfortable in the field, as older soldiers 
can do. To any army the march across the country 
from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson, in the fiercest 
storms of a severe winter, would have been a test of 
endurance. But victory compensated for it all, 
and this time the Navy had not wrested their hon- 
ours from them. Without assistance from the dis- 
abled gunboats, they had captured this important 
outwork of the State Capital at Nashville, and the 
whole region of country of which that city was the 
centre lay open to their victorious arms. 

General Halleck had not encouraged Grant with 
his approval of this bold attack on Fort Donelson ; 
but when it was decided upon, he aided him to the 
best of his ability with re-enforcements, though 
Grant had not waited for them, believing that his 
force of 15,000 men would be more effective than 
three times that number a month later. 

The plan was to hold the enemy within the lines 
while the gunboats attacked. The withdrawal of 
the fleet, and the assault of the enemy on the 15th, 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson, iog 

compelled a change, and threw the burden of the 
battle on the troops. Learning that the men attack- 
ing McClernand had come out with knapsacks and 
haversacks filled with rations, Grant quickly divined 
that the attack was to secure an opening for escape. 
Turning to Colonel J. D. Webster of his staff, he 
said: " Some of our men are pretty badly demoral- 
ized, but the enemy must be more so, for he has 
attempted to force his way out, but has fallen back ; 
the one who attacks first will now be victorious, and 
the enemy will have to be in a hurry to get ahead 
of me." Grant reasoned that Floyd, being a civilian 
soldier, would accept the advice of Pillow. He had 
known Pillow in Mexico, and his own boldness was 
partly founded on a well-calculated knowledge of 
Pillow's incapacity. 

General Jordan, in his life of the Confederate 
cavalry general, Forrest, who made his escape from 
Donelson, speaking of the operations against that 
stronghold and Fort Henry, says: " As it was, 
Grant, landing with the petty force of 15, ockd in 
the very centre of a force of nearly 45,000, having 
interior lines for concentration and communication, 
by railway at that, was able to take two heavy forti- 
fications in detail, and place hors de combat nearly 
15,000 of his enemies." The biographer of General 
Albert Sidney Johnston, says : 

" Mighty as was the disaster, its consequences on the minds of the 
parties to the civil strife were still more ominous to the Confederate 
cause. Where now were the impregnable fortfications said to be 
guarded by 100,000 desperate Southerners? Where now the boasted 
prowess of troops, who were to quail at no odds ; where now the in- 

1 1 o Ulysses S, Grant. H862 

exhaustible resources that were to defy all methods of approach? 
The screen was thrown down ; the inherent weakness and poverty of 
the South were made manifest to all eyes : its vaunted valour was 
quelled, it was claimed, by inferior numbers and superior courage, 
and the prestige of the Confederate arms was transferred to their 

We are further told that Grant, by decision, force 
of will, and tenacity of purpose, had held up the 
sinking courage of a beaten army. If fortune helped 
him, his case was not different from that of many 
others who have thus become famous. 

The fall of Donelson pierced the rebel centre, and 
uncovered the region beyond. It secured the whole 
of Kentucky and Tennessee; it opened up the 
Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers for hundreds of 
miles, and was accompanied by the evacuation of 
Bowling Green, and of Columbus, which gave the 
control of the Mississippi from St. Louis to Arkansas. 
These were blows, as Beauregard tells us, " that 
staggered the Confederacy; the demoralization of 
the army, the panic of the people, were complete." 

In his congratulatory order following Donelson, 
Grant said : " The victory achieved is not only great 
in the effect it will have in breaking down a rebel- 
lion, but it has secured the greatest number of pris- 
oners of war ever taken in battle on this continent." 
He declared his belief in after years that Donelson 
would have ended the war if all the troops in that 
section had been under one command, and the vic- 
tory had been followed up. On the day of surren- 
der, Grant telegraphed to Halleck: ** We have taken 
Fort Donelson and from 12,000 to 15,000 prisoners, 
including Generals Buckner and Bushrod R. John- 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 1 1 1 

son ; also about 20,000 stands of arms, forty-eight 
pieces of artillery, seventeen heavy guns, from 2000 
to 4000 horses, and large quantities of commissary 

Nicolay and Hay say : 

" By this brilliant and important victory Grant's fame sprang 
suddenly into full and universal recognition. President Lincoln 
nominated him major-general of volunteers, and the Senate at once 
confirmed the appointment. The whole military service felt the in- 
spiriting event. Many of the colonels in Grant's army were made 
brigadier-generals ; and promotion ran, like a quickening leaven, 
through the whole organization. Halleck also reminded the Govern- 
ment of his desire for larger power. ' Make Buell, Grant, and Pope 
major-generals of volunteers,' he telegraphed the day after the sur- 
render, ' and give me command of the West. I ask this in return 
for Forts Henry and Donelson.' " 

As the result of Donelson, Grant, who had been 
known in his youth as " Uncle Sam Grant," re- 
ceived a new christening from the people as " Un- 
conditional Surrender Grant." 

On February 15, 1862, Grant was assigned to the 
new military district of Tennessee, with " limits not 
defined," and General W. T. Sherman to the dis- 
trict of Cairo. This was the beginning of a friend- 
ship between two great soldiers that lasted through 
life. On February 21st, C. F. Smith was ordered to 
Clarksville by Grant, and took possession of that 

When they heard of the fall of Fort Henry, Feb- 
ruary 1 2th, the Confederates withdrew from Bow- 
ling Green, and went into camp ten miles from 
Nashville, across the river. When the news of the 
fall of Fort Donelson reached Johnston, he removed 

H2 Ulysses S. Grant, [1862 

his troops to Nashville, and erected batteries below 
that city to delay Foote's gunboats, and would have 
obstructed the river with a raft but for the bitter op- 
position of the " river men." He had no intention 
of holding Nashville, but wished to remain there 
long enough to remove the public property, and this 
he succeeded in doing. 

Nashville occupied in the West relatively the 
same position as Richmond in the East. Its sur- 
render was regarded by the 50,000 or 60,000 people 
then having a temporary or permanent residence 
in that city, as equivalent to the surrender of the 
Confederacy itself; and in the wild excitement that 
followed Donelson, the bonds of civil control were 
so loosened that the disorderly elements had tempo- 
rary control. 

Johnston withdrew from Nashville to Murfrees- 
boro, Tennessee, on the railroad connecting Nash- 
ville with the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, 
running from Memphis through northern Missis- 
sippi and northern Alabama to Chattanooga, and 
joining there the lines opening communication with 
all the principal towns of the Confederacy along the 
Atlantic seaboard. This was the new line of de- 
fence chosen by the Confederates. On the morning 
of Sunday, February 23, 1862, the advance column 
of Buell, who had been sent forward by Grant, 
appeared at Edgefield on the north bank of the 
Cumberland, opposite Nashville, and the next day 
he received the formal surrender of the place from 
its citizens. 

During the operations against Fort Donelson, 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 113 

Grant was cut off in part from communication with 
his superiors by the treason of the telegraph opera- 
tor, who stole his despatches instead of forwarding 
them, and carried them South with him. This was 
not an unmixed misfortune, for it prevented Hal- 
leck from interfering with his plans. It resulted, 
however, in a misunderstanding with Halleck which 
deprived Grant for a time of the prestige of military 
authority, due to his ability and his remarkable suc- 
cess. Halleck had been promptly informed of the 
capture of Donelson, and that Grant, unless he re- 
ceived orders to the contrary, would proceed up the 
Cumberland River, and take Clarksville on February 
2 1st, and Nashville about March 1st. 

Receiving no reply from Halleck, owing to the 
interruption of communication, General Smith was 
sent to Clarksville at the time named, and found that 
it had been evacuated. The plan of sending Grant's 
troops to Nashville was abandoned for want of 
transportation. As Buell was known to be advanc- 
ing on that place, the re-enforcements received from 
him after the fall of Donelson, were ordered to pro- 
ceed to Nashville without disembarking. Acting 
under these orders from Grant, Nelson, who was in 
Buell's command, proceeded to Nashville, and took 
possession of that city. Grant telegraphed to Hal- 
leck that he should go to Nashville himself on Feb- 
ruary 28th, if he received no orders to the contrary. 
Hearing nothing in reply, he carried out his inten- 
tions, with the result which is told in McClellan's 
Own Story. In a conversation over the wires with 
McClellan on March 2, 1862, Halleck said: 

ii4 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

" I have had no communication from Grant all the week. He left 
his command without my authority and went to Nashville. . . . 
I can get no report, no information of any kind, from him. Satisfied 
with his victory, he sits down and enjoys it without any regard to the 
future. I am worn out and tired with this neglect and inefficiency. 
C. F. Smith is almost the only officer equal to the emergency." 

McClellan replied by directing Halleck to arrest 
Grant " at once, if the good of the service requires 
it, and place C. F. Smith in command." Halleck 
responded: " I do not deem it advisable to arrest 
him at present, but have placed General Smith in 
command of the expedition up the Tennessee. I 
think Smith will restore order and discipline." On 
March 4th I lalleck telegraphed Grant to place Smith 
in command of this expedition and remain himself 
at Fort Henry. He added: "Why do you not 
obey my orders to report strength and positions of 
your command ? ' This was the first intimation 
Grant had received that such orders had been sent 
to him. 

On March 6, 1862, Halleck telegraphed to Grant, 
stating that his " neglect of repeated orders, etc., 
was a matter of serious complaint at Washington, so 
much so, that I am advised to arrest you on your 
return." Meanwhile the matter was satisfactorily 
explained and, in reply to an order from Washing- 
ton, on March 10, directing that he report "as to 
Grant's unauthorized visit to Nashville, and as to his 
general conduct," Halleck stated that Grant had 
gone to Nashville to communicate with Buell, that 
his motives were proper, and advised that no further 
proceedings be taken in the case. The wording of 

1862] Forts Henry and Donelson. 1 1 5 

the order which assigned him to his new command 
was sufficient answer to Halleck's complaint that in 
going to Nashville he had left his department. 

Halleck informed Grant of his action in this mat- 
ter, but discreetly refrained from telling him that 
he was himself the cause of the serious complaints 
reported as coming from Washington. This left 
Grant under the impression that his enemy was Mc- 
Clellan, and he was duly grateful to Halleck for his 
supposed interference in his behalf. It was not 
until after the war had closed that Grant learned 
the true state of the case from General McClellan, 
none of the correspondence being found upon the 
records of the War Department. 

Halleck was a man of bitter prejudices. He did 
not believe in Grant, and distrusted him because of 
the stories of his drinking habits. He did believe 
strongly in C. F. Smith, who was indeed in every 
way worthy of his confidence. Smith was, from 
the point of view of the West Point officer, an ideal 
soldier, " whose shape was that of Apollo, and 
whose disposition in peace was that of a lamb ; 
while in battle he was as fierce as a lion of the Jor- 
dan." In his Memoirs, Grant says: 

"It is probable that the general opinion was that Smith's long 
services in the Army, and distinguished deeds, rendered him the more 
proper person for command : indeed, I was rather inclined to this 
opinion myself at that time, and would have served as faithfully under 
Smith as he had done under me. But this did not justify the de- 
spatches which General Halleck sent to Washington, or his subse- 
quent concealment of them from me when pretending to explain the 
action of my superiors." 


Ulysses S. Grant* 


General Smith was no party to this intrigue 
against General Grant, and he was unhesitating in 
his denunciation of Ilalleck's treatment of him. 
His death soon followed, on April 29, 1862, and the 
Army was deprived of <me of its ablest soldiers. 

On March 11. [862, McClellan was relieved of the 
duties of General-in-Chief of all the Armies; and the 
three military departments west of Knoxville. Ten- 
nessee, were united under the command of Halleck. 




APRIL 6-7, 1862. 

URING Grant's campaign against 
Forts Henry and Donelson, General 
S. R. Curtis had been busy on the 
west of the Mississippi in driving 
Price and his men from southwest- 
ern Missouri, and had advanced in pursuit across 
the southern frontier of the State into Arkansas. 
General John Pope had also been very active in his 
" District of Central Missouri." On March 3d, 
Pope appeared with the Army of the Mississippi, 
20,000 men, before the Confederate position at New 
Madrid on the Mississippi, and, after a vigorous 
siege, compelled its evacuation on March 13th. The 
Confederates still held a fortified position on an 
island in the Mississippi, known as Island No. 10, 
one hundred miles below Cairo, and just above New 
Madrid, whither they had removed the forces evacu- 
ating Columbus. Aided by Foote's gunboats, Pope 
succeeded in compelling the surrender of this place, 
with 7000 officers and men, April 8, 1862. 


1 1 8 Ulysses S. Grant U862 

An order restoring Grant to full command was 
issued on March 13, 1862, and on the 17th he resumed 
his duties. The concentrated movement that he 
favoured was not undertaken, as neither Buell nor 
Halleck could be persuaded of its feasibility. " Of 
all the men whom I have encountered in high posi- 
tion," McClellan says, " Halleck was the most hope- 
lessly stupid. It was more difficult to get an idea 
through his head than can be conceived by any one 
who never made the attempt. I do not think he 
ever had a correct military idea from beginning to 

This is too strong a statement, and it does not 
accord with the opinion of Halleck entertained by 
both Grant and Sherman. He was an able officer; 
but his mind was too much occupied with the rules 
which he had formulated in a work on the strategy 
and logistics of war, to be always properly apprecia- 
tive of the conditions of war as applied to the field 
actually under his command. 

After a surrender of Fort Henry, Lieutenant- 
Commander Phelps, U. S. Navy, went with a gun- 
boat up the Tennessee River, entirely across the 
State of Tennessee, to Florence, just over the bound- 
ary line in Alabama. The Confederates had taken 
up a new line of defence farther south ; and the next 
objective point for the Union attack was Memphis, 
in the southwest corner of Tennessee, on the Mis- 
sissippi River. To protect their railroad communi- 
cation between Memphis and the East, the Confed- 
erates had established themselves in a strong 
defensive position at Corinth, Mississippi, where 

1862] Battle of Shiloh. 1 1 9 

the two most important railroads in the Mississippi 
Valley cross each other. The gunboats could pass 
up and down the Tennessee; but to effect any per- 
manent lodgment farther south, it was necessary to 
drive the enemy from Corinth. 

Grant regarded Corinth as the " great strategic 
position between the Tennessee and the Mississippi 
Rivers, and between Nashville and Vicksburgh." 
The Confederate general, Johnston, had determined 
to unite his whole army with that of Beauregard, 
and hazard a battle there. By the end of March 
the Confederates had been able to concentrate 50,- 
000 men at Corinth. On March 28, 1862, Halleck 
telegraphed to Buell, who was at Nashville: "It 
seems from all accounts that the enemy is massing 
his forces in the vicinity of Corinth. You will con- 
centrate all your available troops at Savannah or 
Pittsburg, twelve miles above. Large reinforce- 
ments being sent to General Grant. We must be 
ready to attack the enemy as soon as the roads are 

During the period of General Grant's suspension 
from command, his troops, under the command of 
C. F. Smith, had moved south up the Tennessee 
River above Fort Henry, to operate upon the com- 
munications of the enemy. Sherman, who was 
under the orders of Smith, had also been sent south 
by water to cut the Memphis and Charleston Rail- 
road. This expedition was a failure, as an inunda- 
tion made it impossible for Sherman to move his 
troops across the country from the transports. On 
the Tennessee River, twenty-two miles northeast of 

120 Ulysses S. Grant Li 86 2 

Corinth, is Pittsburg Landing.* On his way up the 
river, Sherman had sent from this place a request 
that a division should occupy it to prevent the Con- 
federates seizing it, and interfering with his expedi- 
tion. Hurlbut's division was ordered there, and 
Sherman found it on board transports when he re- 
turned, on March 17th, from his unsuccessful move- 
ment inland. In a report to Grant at that date 
Sherman said that he was " strongly impressed with 
the importance of this place, both for its land 
advantages and its strategic position. The ground 
itself admits of easy defence by a small command, 
and yet affords admirable camping-ground for 100,- 
000 men." 

C. F. Smith agreed with Sherman in the opinion 
that Pittsburg Landing was the best base for the 
movement to occupy northern Mississippi and Ala- 
bama, control the railroad system of that region, 
and take Memphis in the rear while Halleck forced 
the Mississippi. Grant, to whom the direction of 
this movement had been assigned, wished to strike 
at once : he received positive orders from Halleck to 
act only on the defensive. 

It was a season of high water on the Tennessee, 

* The Tennessee River is so closely identified with the fortunes of 
General Grant, that its geography should be carefully studied. Its 
head waters are in southwestern Virginia, and it becomes a consider- 
able stream at Knoxville, Tennessee, flowing thence southwest to 
Chattanooga, next west and southwest into Alabama, then through 
the northern part of that State for nearly two hundred miles, until it 
again enters Tennessee near Pittsburg Landing ; then northerly 
across the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, and into the Ohio 
River at Paducah, Kentucky, not far from Cairo, Illinois. 

1862] Battle of Shiloh. 121 

and the banks of the river were flooded, except the 
bluffs, where steamboat landings had been estab- 
lished in the locality of Grant's operations at Sa- 
vannah, Hamburgh, Crumps and Pittsburg Land- 
ings. The plan was to concentrate the forces of 
Buell and Grant, under the command of Halleck, 
for an advanced movement, and they were ordered 
to avoid an encounter with the enemy until Halleck 
arrived. The choice between Savannah and Pitts- 
burg as a place of concentration had been very 
properly left by Halleck to the judgment of the 
officers on the ground. 

Savannah, being on the side of the river away 
from the enemy, was the safer position : but con- 
centration here involved the necessity for transport- 
ing across the water the large force gathering for an 
immediate advance; and the advantages of Pitts- 
burg were so great in other respects, that Grant 
decided, when he arrived on the ground, to adhere 
to Sherman's and Smith's selection of this position. 
On March 17th he wrote to Sherman from Savan- 
nah, " I have just arrived, and, although sick for 
the last two weeks, begin to feel better at the 
thought of being again with the troops." He im- 
mediately gave orders to Smith's division to move 
to Pittsburg Landing, and placed Smith in com- 
mand of the camp at Savannah. Hurlbut's division 
was already on the ground. On March 18th Sher- 
man disembarked his division from the transports 
that carried them up the river. Prentiss arrived also, 
and organised a new division from unassigned regi- 
ments, camping with his green troops on the left of 

122 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

Sherman. The divisions of McClernand and W. H. 
L. Wallace were farther up the river at Crumps 
Landing, guarding the road between Savannah and 
Bethel, on the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad. 

Grant went into camp at Pittsburg, and began to 
get his troops into shape for the proposed advance 
on Corinth. The camps were located on wooded 
heights, hidden in most cases by a heavy second 
growth of timber, and approached across deep ravines 
or open fields. In the troughs of the ravines were 
brooks, swollen by heavy rains and having boggy 
places, hazardous for the passage of artillery, and 
difficult even for infantry. The country partakes of 
the general characteristics of southern Tennessee 
and northern Mississippi, where the level of the 
land is broken by a series of rounded and heavily 
timbered ridges, intersected by numerous streams 
running over miry bottoms, between banks of tena- 
cious clay mud, and very difficult to cross under 
the most favourable circumstances. The river in 
the rear of the Union position flowed in the form 
of an S. Along it ran a line of bluffs, masking the 
stream from the view of the country beyond its 
banks. The roads leading to Pittsburg Landing 
were the common country roads, — bad for marching, 
at their best, and quickly made well-nigh impassa- 
ble by heavy rains. The succession of ravines, 
ridges, and woods gave every opportunity for the 
selection of defensive positions. 

General Beauregard says that the Union position 
gave the Confederates an opportunity for an almost 
fatal counter-stroke, such as has rarely been afforded 

18621 Battle of Shiloh. 1 23 

to the one of two belligerents who was the weaker 
in the sinews and resources of war. It was in a 
narrow cul-dc-sac formed by Snake Creek and Lick 
Creek, with the broad bank-full river as its bottom, 
— tactically as well as strategically a false position 
for an invading army. On the other hand, the bio- 
grapher of General A. S. Johnston tells us that the 
Federal position here was 

"a formidable, natural fortification. With few and difficult ap- 
proaches guarded on either flank by impassable streams and morasses, 
protected by a succession of ravines and acclivities, each commanded 
by eminences to the rear, this quadrilateral seemed a safe fastness 
against attack ; hard to assail, easy to defend. Its selection was the 
dying gift of the soldierly C. F. Smith to his cause." 

Sherman says, ' At a later period of the war we 
could have rendered this position impregnable in 
one night, but at this time we did not do it." 

It is easy to be wise after the event. At that 
time neither Army had learned the value of field 
intrenchments. Grant did propose to fortify, and 
sent General J. B. McPherson, who was an excellent 
engineer, to trace a line of works; but it was decided 
not to fortify, as the movement was intended to be 
an aggressive one, and the consensus of opinion was 
against intrenching. No one of the excellent sol- 
diers present favoured it. The successes of Henry 
and Donelson had made officers and men over-con- 
fident. They had not yet learned the true measure 
of the task they had undertaken; and it was gener- 
ally believed that a series of reverses had paralysed 
the Confederacy, in that section at least. 

124 Ulysses S. Grant [1862 

Two and one half miles from the landing at 
Pittsburg was a little one-story log meeting-house 
known as Shiloh Church, where Sherman had 
located his headquarters, on the advance line of 
Grant's forces. Southwest from Shiloh, across the 
boundary line of Tennessee at Corinth, Mississippi, 
the Confederates were gathering under Johnston, 
watching with eager anxiety the movement of con- 
centration against them. Following the well-worn 
military rule of destroying your enemy in detail if 
you can, Johnston resolved to attack Grant before 
Buell arrived. 

Though his troops had crossed the river, Grant 
continued his headquarters at Savannah, on the east 
bank, the point of rendezvous for the gathering 
army, his presence being required there to receive 
and organise the new troops which were constantly 
arriving, and to meet Buell, who was daily expected, 
so as to promptly arrange for carrying his troops 
across the river, and placing them in position. 
Buell's advance under Nelson arrived April 5th, and 
were ordered into position where they could be 
ferried over the river. Buell himself came that eve- 
ning, but did not report to Grant. Johnston heard 
of his approach on April 2d, and resolved to strike at 

Orders for the advance were given at one o'clock 
on the morning of April 3d, and by noon the whole 
Confederate Army was ready for the march. The 
intention was to attack on the morning of the 5th 
by columns of corps, to surprise Grant, and to crush 
him before Buell could re-enforce him. The diffi- 

1862] Battle of Shilok 1 2 5 

culties of marching over the heavy narrow road from 
Corinth, and the interference of one corps with 
another, through want of concerted action between 
the corps commanders, delayed the movement of 
the Confederates so long, that it was fully believed 
that their enemy had been warned. 

On Friday, April 4, 1862, Lew Wallace, five miles 
up the river from Pittsburg, reported that there 
was a heavy force in front of him, and he believed 
that this was a reconnaissance with a view to an at- 
tack upon him. On the same day, Colonel Buck- 
land, commanding Sherman's Fourth Brigade, on 
visiting his picket lines, found the woods swarming 
with Confederate cavalry along his entire front, and 
the pickets reported that they had seen infantry and 

The Confederates seen were Forrest's cavalry, 
pushed forward to obtain topographical information, 
but ordered not to undertake any aggressive move- 
ment that should warn the Union Army. Forrest 
captured an officer; and from him General Jordan, 
of Beauregard's staff, learned, by skilful cross- 
examination, that there were no earthworks to 
encounter, and that the commanders of the Union 
forces were wholly unaware of the proposed attack. 
This information was communicated to Generals 
Johnston and Beauregard. Sherman discovered no 
signs of infantry, though some of his men on picket 
asserted that they had seen them ; and he decided 
that the troops on his front were merely a force of 
cavalry reconnoitring. Rabbits and squirrels run- 
ning across the picket line indicated some move- 

126 Ulysses S. Grant [1862 

merit beyond it, and the Union troops were ordered 
to be on their guard against an attack. The pickets 
were strengthened, and a line of sentries was estab- 
lished between the picket line and the camp. 

Heavy showers fell during the night of April 4th; 
but these cleared off before morning, when the sun 
arose in a clear sky. On Saturday, April 5th, the 
forest in front of Grant's position was alive with the 
bustle of preparation for the coming struggle. At 
daybreak the advanced camps of the Union Army 
were so clearly in sight of the Confederate lines, that 
Johnston said to Beauregard, " Can it be possible 
that they are not aware of ou: position ? " Beau- 
regard replied, "It is scarcely possible; they are 
trying to entrap us." 

Sherman wrote to Grant on that day: "The 
enemy is saucy, but got the worst of it yester- 
day. . . . I do not apprehend anything like an 
attack on our position." 

Grant wrote to Halleck: " Our outposts have 
been attacked in considerable force. I immediately 
went up and found all quiet. I have scarcely the 
faintest idea of any attack upon us." There was 
during the day unimportant but lively skirmishing 
with Forrest's cavalry on the further side of Lick 

Johnston's troops had been ordered to attack at 
three o'clock on the morning of April 5th ; but Polk's 
Corps did not arrive until two o'clock that afternoon, 
and it was nearly night before all the troops were in 
position. It was impossible to keep the green 
troops of the Confederate Army quiet; and the 

1862] Battle of Shiloh. 1 2 7 

night was disturbed by the kindling of fires and the 
beating of drums, by cheering, and by a scattering 
fire of small arms as the men tested their ammu- 
nition to see if the rain had injured it. The wind 
appears to have swept the sound of the enemy's 
movements away from Grant's front; but the noise 
from the Federal camp was carried into the Rebel 
line, and they had the advantage of knowing what 
was on their front. The want of cavalry made it 
difficult to ascertain what was going on in front of 
the Federal position ; and the troops were so near 
together, that the officers attributed the noises made 
by the enemy, and heard in their lines, to their own 
men. At a council of war, Beauregard advised that 
the Confederate Army return to Corinth, as the delay 
and noise had notified the Federals, and he believed 
that they would be found intrenched " to their 
eyes," awaiting an attack, and his troops were too 
raw to attack intrenchments. 

On Sunday morning, April 6, 1862, the Confed- 
erates advanced to the attack on the Union lines, 
which were hidden by the morning mist lying low in 
the wooded valleys. Instead of moving in column of 
corps, three lines were formed. Hardee's Corps was 
in advance, his front extending for three miles; 
Bragg's Corps followed in the second line, Polk's in 
the third, and Breckinridge was in reserve. Forrest, 
with 4382 cavalry, guarded the Confederate flanks. 
In all, there were 40,000 Confederates in battle array, 
excluding all details. On the same basis of esti- 
mate, Grant had in the field 33,000 men. The first 
gun was fired at 5.14 A.M. 

128 Ulysses S. Grant £1862 

The Confederate reports show that on some 
points of the Union line they found no infantry- 
picket in advance of the ordinary chain of sentinels, 
and no cavalry in front of Prentiss or of Sherman. 
It appears, however, that both of these officers were 
on the alert. Prentiss threw one regiment forward 
and attacked Hardee's skirmish line, thinking that 
it was an outpost. This regiment was repulsed, 
and followed into camp by the enemy. 

Then the full crash of battle broke in all its fury 
without the ordinary prelude of a contest between 
skirmish lines, and the men in the Union advance 
had barely time to rally to meet the assault. For- 
rest reported that many of them were found in their 
blankets fast asleep, some were washing or dressing, 
some were cooking their morning meal, and the 
early ones were eating breakfast. Arms and accou- 
trements " were spread around in the orderless 
fashion of holiday soldiers." 

It so happened that the most inexperienced sol- 
diers had been placed on the front, and some of them 
hastened to the rear, two cowardly colonels carrying 
their entire regiments with them. The skulkers 
were speedily sifted from the fighting men, and those 
who remained vigorously contested the field. Con- 
federate accounts report a desperate resistance and 
fearful loss. 

Grant's flanks were protected by the swollen 
creeks, and the attack was delivered in front. As 
Johnston's first line pressed forward, the gaps made 
in it were filled from the second and third lines. 
General Lew Wallace, whose fame as a novelist 

1862] Battle of Shiloh. 1 2 9 

should not obscure his reputation as a soldier, was 
not on the ground with his large division ; and the 
Confederates were strongest at every point of con- 
tact except the left centre, where W. H. L. Wallace 
and Hurlbut held a strong position, to which the Con- 
federates gave the name of " the Hornet's Nest." 

" Here," says General Johnston's son and biog- 

"behind the dense thicket, on the crest of a hill, was posted as 
strong a force of hardy troops as ever fought ; almost perfectly pro- 
tected by the conformation of the ground, and by logs and other rude 
and hastily prepared defences. No figure of speech would be too 
strong to express the deadly peril of assault upon this natural fortress, 
whose inaccessible barriers blazed for six hours with sheets of flame, 
and whose infernal gates poured forth a murderous storm of shot and 
shell and musket fire, which no living thing could quell or even 

The same writer says, No Confederate who 
fought at Shiloh has ever said that he found any 
point on that bloody field easy to assail." 

The Confederate forces were divided by the deep 
wooded ravines, and their attack was not continu- 
ous, but in a series of disjointed assaults." These 
were sturdily met, and at some points of the Union 
lines were repulsed, and followed with counter- 
charges. The Yankee cheer and the Rebel yell 
mingled with the roar of artillery and the sharp 
whiz of the spiteful bullets. The Kentuckians in the 
Confederate line, as they advanced, sang their war- 
song, " Cheer, boys, cheer, we will march away to 
battle! ' Firing from behind trees, within hearing 
distance, the Confederates would shout, " Bull 
Run! " awakening the Union retort, " Donelson!" 

130 Ulysses S. Grant, H862 

Thus the battle raged at half-past two in the af- 
ternoon when Johnston, who commanded the Con- 
federate forces, was killed, and the command passed 
to Beauregard. This change occasioned a lull for 
over an hour, and then the contest was renewed. 
The Federal general, Prentiss, who had not been 
sufficiently prompt in withdrawing when the troops 
on his right and left were driven back, was enclosed 
on both flanks, and surrendered with 2200 of his 
officers and men. The Union troops had been 
driven from position to position, retreating step 
by step nearly to Pittsburg Landing, where their 
shortened line extended from the Tennessee River 
on their left, to the Snake Creek on the right. 
Thousands of Union soldiers — estimated by Grant 
to number 5000, and by Sherman, 10,000 — had fled 
to the rear during the prolonged contest, until fur- 
ther progress was checked by the river, where they 
were crouching in a complete state of physical and 
moral collapse, on the water's edge, under the 
shelter of a high bluff. 

Grant, who was at Savannah when the battle 
began, found them there, on his way to the field of 
battle, and not having other use for his cavalry, on 
account of the nature of the ground, sent them to 
the rear to stop further straggling, and to drive the 
skulkers to the front. 

Grant had not forgotten his experience at Mon- 
terey and Fort Donelson ; and he promptly organ- 
ised an ammunition train to supply the men on the 
firing line, who speedily exhausted the cartidges 
they carried with them. The various commands 

1862] Battle of Shiloh. 1 3 1 

had been badly broken up at the time of his arri- 
val on the field, and there was great confusion for 
the want of proper directions. He rode to and fro 
along the front, smoking his cigar, giving few orders, 
but encouraging his officers everywhere, and bid- 
ding them to do their best. 

The scenes of confusion and disorder in the rear 
of the Union lines were repeated in the rear of the 
Confederates. Johnston's men had been furnished 
with three days' cooked rations; but, with the im- 
providence of recruits, many had promptly devoured 
their supplies or thrown them away, and they went 
into battle hungry. When the Union troops fell 
back, their camps were left in possession of the 
enemy. The temptation they offered to luxurious 
indulgence was too much for the hungry and thirsty 
soldiers of the Confederacy. Many of them scattered 
to eat, drink, and pillage ; so that the attacking 
force suffered nearly as much from demoralisation as 
Grant's men. Surgeon Carey, U. S. Volunteers, 
who was a prisoner in Beauregard's camp, says: 

'* I have often heard of demoralized armies, but 
the scene presented here beggars description. The 
woods were crowded with men running at full speed, 
with trunks filled with booty and with big bundles, 
some without packs or guns, divested of everything 
that offered an impediment to their running." 

The time occupied in taking care of Prentiss's 
men also interfered with movements in the Confed- 
erate lines. Every man had been put into battle 
in the first attack, except two brigades of Breckin- 
ridge — in reserve ; the battle had raged for ten hours ; 

132 Ulysses S. Grant [1862 

and, in spite of their success, the Confederates 
had but little stomach for further fighting. They 
were badly disorganised in their encounter with an 
enemy who did not appear to know when he was 
whipped. Accordingly, Beauregard, who was in 
command, with his headquarters at Shiloh Church, 
where Sherman had been the night before, ordered 
a halt at five o'clock in the afternoon. He had not 
succeeded in his purpose of turning Grant's flanks, 
the left flank being protected in part by the gun- 
boats Tyler and Lexington. General Jordan, Chief 
of Staff, describes Beauregard's Army on that night 
as " very much in the condition of a lump of sugar 
thoroughly soaked with water, but yet preserving 
its original shape, though ready to dissolve." 

Lew Wallace, who had been ordered early in 
the day to join at Pittsburg Landing, owing to 
some misunderstanding or misdirection, did not 
arrive until too late to take part in the battle. The 
advance of Buell's troops joined from the other side 
of the river toward the end of the day, before the 
firing had ceased, and lost a few men. 

On the night of the first day's battle, companies 
of the Union Army were commanded in many cases 
by sergeants, regiments by lieutenants, and brigades 
by majors. Both forces rested on their arms, getting 
what repose they could in a drenching rain. To 
enliven proceedings in the Confederate camps, the 
gunboats on the river dropped a shell every fifteen 
minutes among them. 

On the day before the battle, General Grant had 
been severely bruised by his horse slipping on a log, 

J862] Battle of Skilok. 1 3 3 

and falling upon him, as he was returning in the dark 
from a visit to Sherman's picket line. On the 
night of the battle he sought shelter in a hut occu- 
pied by the surgeons as a field hospital ; but the sight 
of the wounded drove him forth, and he obtained 
what rest he could for his bruised and aching body, 
lying on the ground under the trees in the rain with 
his soldiers. That night Forrest clothed some of 
his scouts in Federal overcoats, and sent them 
through Grant's lines to bring back information of 
the condition of things there. That they were able 
to get through, shows how ignorant the Union 
pickets were. 

The morning of Monday, April 7, 1862, found 
Grant in position with his original commands, minus 
Prentiss's Brigade, and re-enforced by Wallace's 
division holding his right, and on the left Buell's 
Army of the Ohio, which during the night had com- 
pleted the passage of the river. This was a day of 
victory for the Union forces. On the previous 
night Grant had said: " We must not give the 
enemy the moral advantage of attacking to-morrow 
morning. We must fire the first gun." 

An assault was made all along the line at day- 
break on April 7th, and the conditions of the pre- 
vious day were reversed. In a series of charges and 
countercharges the Confederates were steadily driven 
back, and by three o'clock were in full retreat. 
" The attack of the Federal Army," says Johnston's 
biographer, " was well conducted, systematic, and 
spirited." " At four o'clock the flag of the Union 
floated again upon the line from which it had been 

134 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

driven the previous day, and General Grant's troops 
at once resumed their camp." 

Lew Wallace had added 6500 men to Grant's 
Army ; Buell brought 20,000 men ; and there was a 
further re-enforcement by single regiments, number- 
ing, in all, 1400. Wood arrived with his division 
before the close of the engagement, but too late to 
join in the battle. Thomas's division of Buell's 
Army did not reach the field until after the fight 
was over. 

The Confederate retreat began at half-past two 
that afternoon. It was conducted in a cold and 
drizzling rainstorm, changing to blinding hail, and 
lasting for three hours. This subjected to great 
hardship the wounded and dying soldiers, who trav- 
elled through the storm in open waggons, without 
even a blanket to cover them. The retreat was 
made in good order, and there was no effective at- 
tempt at pursuit, owing to the conditions of the 
roads. The losses reported in the Records of the 
Rebellion (vol. X., Part I.) were as follows: 















General Grant questioned the accuracy of Beau- 
regard's statement of the number killed, stating that 
his men had kept count of 4000 Confederate dead 
buried by them. This would make the total of 
killed, wounded, and missing on both sides about 
equal, with a large preponderance of killed and 

1862] Battle of Skilok. 1 3 5 

wounded among the Confederates. Grant further 
says, that aside from the loss of Prentiss, with his 
2200 officers and men, he took more prisoners on 
the second day than he lost on the first, and cap- 
tured as many guns as had been taken from him the 
day before. 

The list of casualties tells the story of stubborn 
fighting, and Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing — it is 
called indifferently by both names — was one of the 
most stubbornly contested battle-fields of the war. 
If there was surprise, it was shared by both parties. 
Grant encountered a force he was not looking for, 
and the Confederates met with a resistance they had 
not expected. 

In answer to the criticism upon the position of 
the Union Army with a river in their rear, General 
Sherman says: " If there were any errors in putting 
that army on the west side of the Tennessee, ex- 
posed to the superior force of the enemy, also 
assembling at Corinth, the mistake was not General 
Grant's, but there was no mistake." 

The stubborn resistance which the Confederates 
met with at the outset is shown by the fact that 
they were soon obliged to call upon their reserves. 
One regiment, the 16th Wisconsin, recruited in the 
lumber regions, had four hundred men good at a 
" turkey shoot." " Pretty busy, eh ?' said the 
Colonel to one of his men. " How many have you 
finished, Colonel ? ' The Colonel answered, " I have 
fired thirty-seven cartridges, and I don't feel certain 
of six. " Of the other thirty-one he was sure. The 
first panic sifted all the cowards out of Grant's 


Ulysses S. Grant. 


Army, and a large proportion of those who remained 
were cool-headed sportsmen, who took advantage 
of the defensive positions among the trees and fallen 
timber. The disorganisation of the battle extended 
only to the tactical formations. 

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T is difficult to formulate a strictly mili- 
tary criticism on the battle of Shiloh, 
and this fact may explain the endless 
disputes and discussions concerning 
it. We had no armies then, in the 
European sense, on either side. The combatants 
were citizens, full of zeal, full of energy, and fired 
with patriotic devotion ; but they had few of the 
characteristics of unity and associated action which 
constitute the distinctive features of an army. To 
both sides may be applied Bragg's description of the 
Confederate force: " It was a heterogeneous mass, 
in which there was more enthusiasm than discipline, 
more capacity than knowledge, and more valour than 
instruction." In the Life of A. S. Johnston, the 
author quotes a friend who commanded a brigade 
in this battle as saying: " You know I was as 
ignorant of the military art at that time as it was 
possible for a civilian to be ; I had never seen a man 
fire a musket ; I had never heard a lecture or read a 


138 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

line on the subject. We were all tyros — all the 
rawest of green recruits — generals, colonels, cap- 
tains, soldiers." 

An effective army is a vital organism, in which 
each part responds promptly to the demands of the 
whole, moving obediently to the suggestion of some 
single will. Such an organism is possible only to the 
extent in which each officer and man so thoroughly 
understands his duties that he does the correct thing 
in the moment of emergency, undisturbed by con- 
fusion and alarm, having full possession of his facul- 
ties in the hour of action, when every nerve and 
muscle is put upon the strain. Of the three thousand 
million thoughts the mind is said to be capable of 
containing, the dominant one in the mind of the new 
soldier going into battle is that of danger. Raw 
troops either promptly run away, or they stand well 
up to their work, as the majority of Grant's troops 
did at Shiloh. Inexperienced soldiers are not able 
to discriminate as to the nature of an attack; and if 
they fight at all, they will fight to the bitter end. 

Those of Grant's soldiers who ran away at Shiloh 
were no doubt greatly surprised, as every untrained 
recruit is when he first realises by actual experience 
that there are men so reckless of his personal com- 
fort as to willingly use him for a target. They 
carried with them, in their flight, stories of surprise 
and demoralisation that spread over the country 
faster than they could be followed by explanations. 
The Army of Shiloh suffered, too, from the ignorance 
of the science of outposts, which was common then. 
General officers seldom knew what was actually 

1862] Mississippi Campaign. 139 

going on along their picket lines, as there was a 
great discrepancy between their orders and the exe- 
cution of orders. Sherman wrote May 12, 1862: 

I have been worried to death by the carelessness 
of officers and sentinels; have begged, importuned, 
and cursed, to little purpose. Sentinels fresh from 
home have as much idea of war as children." 

Orders would leave the officers correctly enough, 
but they would never reach the front in the shape 
of a well-posted picket. The details that in their 
sum total make military efficiency were known to 
but few. Where the instructed ones were officers 
of rank, they found it difficult to understand the 
ignorance of their subordinates and to allow for it. 
Often it was the blind leading the blind, and they 
fell into the ditch together. 

The security of an army depends upon its ability 
to obtain early information of any aggressive move- 
ment by its enemy. For this it depends on cavalry, 
scouting beyond its infantry lines, and on a cordon 
of infantry extended along its front, and keeping 
vigilant watch on suspicious movements. It is 
essential that the men forming this outermost line 
of an army should be sufficiently instructed to com- 
prehend the significance of what they see. Other- 
wise they are worse than useless, for they awaken 
an undue sense of confidence. It is expected that 
an enemy approaching will be met by continually 
increasing resistance, and detained long enough to 
enable the main body of the assailed army to rally 
for the defence. When the ordinary precautions 
against attack fail in their purpose, in whole or in 

140 Ulysses S. Grant. L1862 

part, as they did at Shiloh, the result is confusion 
and too hasty preparation for battle. Sherman 
knew how ignorant his men were; and probably 
their reports of what was heard in his front did not 
ficiently impress his mind, preoccupied with the 

viction that no assault was intended. He knew, 

.1- Grant knew, to men so ignorant as most of 
those whom they commanded, any suggestion of 
danger was demorali They needed the stimu- 

lus <»f motion. ion; the sense of doing some- 

thin live, to fire their spirits and give them 

Confidence and The confusion in com- 

mands on the battle-field is readily explained by 

the remark of I ird, ' that he had 

often seen new tl . when attempting to nia- 

ivre, - on level ground, * 1 thoroughly 

mixed up in .1 * \ moments, that a long time was 

lired to disentai them." Cohesion, under the 
train of battle, is difficult with the best 
of ti . with raw troops it is impossible. 

But the of ignorance v. renly bal- 

anced, that it is difficult to say which side profited 

most by them at Shiloh. The best comment on the 
tic IS, that both parties to it were engaged for 

oologies and explanations 

' 1 what the}- did I what they left undone. It 

was Halleck's purpose to concentrate his forces at 

Pittsburg Landing, and to advance on Corinth. 

Johnston checked this movement. It was John- 
ston's intention t Grant's Army before 
BueU arrived ; then to defeat Buell and carry the 
war across the Ohio River. He failed in the at- 

1862] Mississippi Campaign. 141 

tempt. If Grant was misled as to the intentions of 
the enemy, he was only following an unbroken line 
of distinguished precedents furnished by great com- 
manders since the beginning of war. " The pre- 
science " and " intuitive divination " of an enemy's 
designs exist only in the imagination of historians. 
In but three days, in one of his campaigns. Napo- 
leon made three erroneous calculations of the Prus- 
sian movements. Those who are disturbed by 
American ignorance of war may profitably recall 
the statement of Napoleon III., that the disasters 
of France in the war with Prussia were due to the 
general ignorance of his arm}'. 

The first aggressive campaign of the Confederates 
in the West was overthrown at Shiloh and at Mur- 
frcesboro, which followed it a few months later. 
But Shiloh won no honours for Grant, and he was 
again under a cloud. The host of newspaper writer^ 
in Hallcck's Army could not resist the opportunity 
this battle gave them to display their superior 
knowledge of war, and to prove to their own satis- 
faction that Grant's career was a series <>f military 
blunders. According to them, he had been defeated 
at Shiloh, and nothing but luck had saved him at 
Donelson. The cowards who scattered to the rear 
in the fight of April 6th, in seeking excuse for their 
own delinquency, chose Grant for their scapegoat. 
Hostile feeling against him ran high, and active at- 
tempts were made to have him removed from com- 
mand. Speaking of Shiloh. Sherman says: "Grant 
displayed the coolness, the personal courage, fore- 
thought, and deliberation which afterwards made 

142 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

him famous among men ; yet he was traduced, slan- 
dered, and wronged, not only by the press uni- 
versally, but by those who were in positions of 
authority over him." 

A newspaper correspondent, Mr. Richardson, 
who was with Grant at this time, says of him : 
" He silently smoked and waited. The only pro- 
test I ever knew him to utter was to the corre- 
spondent of the journal which had denounced him 
with great severity. ' Your paper is very unjust to 
me, but time will make it all right. I want to be 
judged only by my acts.' 

Mr. Richardson further says : 

" Hooker once boasted that he had the best army on the planet. 
One could have declared that Grant commanded the worst. There 
was little of that order, perfect drill, or pride, pomp, and circum- 
stance seen among Buell's troops and in the Army of the Potomac. 
But Grant's rough, rugged soldiers would fight wonderfully, and were 
not easily demoralized. If their line became broken, every man 
from behind a tree, rock, or stump, blazed away at the enemy on his 
own account. 

" Unlike Halleck, Grant did not pretend to familiarity with the 
details of military text-books. He would not move an army with 
that beautiful symmetry which McClellan displayed, but his pontoons 
were always up, and his ammunition trains were never missing. 
Though not occupied with details, he must have given close attention 
to them, for while other commanding generals had forty or fifty staff 
officers, brilliant with braid and button, Grant allowed himself but 
six or seven." 

As Halleck had persistently ignored Grant, and 
had, in violation of military etiquette, received the 
reports of his subordinate officers and forwarded 
them direct to Washington, Grant made no official 

1862] Mississippi Campaign. 143 

report of the battle of Shiloh. His opponent, Beau- 
regard, was subjected to a similar experience from 
the Richmond War Office, and he also withheld his 

The result of this sharp experience at Shiloh com- 
pleted the change in Grant's views as to the struggle 
between the North and the South. He was fully 
satisfied, for the first time, that the contest was to 
be a long and bitter one, and he shaped his course 
accordingly. He abandoned his policy of protecting 
friend and foe alike, though he still extended pro- 
tection to Southern sympathisers living quietly at 
home. He forbade pillage, but he took what he 
needed for public use, receipting to the owners for 
what was taken. Property he could not use, he 
destroyed, where he believed that otherwise it would 
be devoted to the uses of the Confederacy. 

The movement to Pittsburg Landing had carried 
Grant and Buell across the State of Tennessee and 
nearly to the northern limit of Mississippi. Before 
leaving Nashville, Buell had sent General O. M. 
Mitchell, of astronomical fame, south with his com- 
mand, across the boundary of Tennessee, into Ala- 
bama, with orders to operate against the Memphis 
and Charleston Railroad, connecting Corinth with 
the East. After the victory of Shiloh, Mitchell 
marched, April 10, 1862, from Fayetteville, Ten- 
nessee, to Huntsville, Alabama. From there he 
operated on the railroad as far east as Bridgeport, 
Alabama, and as far west as Tuscumbia, Alabama, 
destroying railroad bridges, capturing railroad stock 
and public property. He secured no lodgment in 

144 Ulysses S, Grant, [1862 

the country, and his movement was in accordance 
with the general policy of dispersion prevailing at 
that time. 

Halleck's objective after Shiloh continued to be 
Corinth, but he was apparently in no haste to get 
there. His instructions had been to limit the move- 
ments beyond Pittsburg Landing to a day's jour- 
ney, going and returning. Buell's explanation of his 
failure to follow the retreating enemy with his fresh 
troops was that he received no orders to do so. 
Grant, in his orders to his division commanders after 
the battle, said: " I have instructed Taylor's cav- 
alry to push out on the road towards Corinth to 
ascertain if the enemy have retreated. Should they 
be retreating, I want all the cavalry to follow them. " 
On April 8th, Sherman pursued the enemy, but 
only far enough to discover that they had with- 
drawn in good order. Halleck, who expected to 
arrive the next day, did not reach Pittsburg Land- 
ing, to assume command there, until April u, 1862. 
Grant was then assigned to the position of second 
in command, — very honorary, but as unimportant as 
that of Vice-President, except that he had immedi- 
ate control of the right wing and the reserve. His 
position was so embarrassing, indeed, that he made 
several applications to be relieved. He was not re- 
lieved, but he was allowed to move his headquarters, 
as Commander of the District of West Tennessee, 
to Memphis. He started for that city on June 23, 
1862. As he travelled without escort, he narrowly 
escaped falling into the hands of a roaming force of 
Confederate cavalry. 

1862] Mississippi Campaign, 145 

Halleck had undertaken to capture the Confeder- 
ate Army, which had retreated to Corinth after 
Shiloh, by a system of gradual approaches, fortify- 
ing as he moved. His attempt was as successful as 
the youthful expedient of capturing birds by the 
application of salt to their tails. After crawling 
painfully from position to position for nearly two 
months, he reached Corinth finally at the end of 
May, only to find that the bird had flown, and that 
there was nothing but an empty nest to compensate 
him for his labours. The humour-loving Confed- 
erates had found time before they left to inscribe on 
the empty buildings: 

" These premises to let ; inquire of G. T. Beauregard." 

As the landlord was not present, the National 
troops took possession without the formality of a 

Pope, with his troops, had arrived at Pittsburg 
Landing on April nth, fresh from the victories of 
New Madrid and Island No. 10 ; and by the end 
of April, Halleck had a force of nearly 100,000, 
including such officers as Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, 
Thomas, Buell, Rosecrans, Pope, and Logan. This 
force marched from Pittsburg Landing to the vi- 
cinity of Corinth, where they were drawn up in 
line of battle. On May 30th, Halleck announced in 
orders that he expected his left to be attacked that 
morning. The Confederate movement, which had 
excited his alarm, was not one of attack, but of re- 
treat. On May 25th, Beauregard decided to with- 

146 Ulysses S. Grant. £1862 

draw from Corinth to Tupelo, Mississippi, forty-five 
miles southwest on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, 
and had made elaborate and most successful prep- 
arations to deceive Halleck as to his intentions. On 
June 1st, Fort Pillow was also evacuated, under 
orders from Beauregard. 

The Confederate troops withdrawn from Corinth, 
10,000 in all, were halted behind the Tuscumbia 
River, six miles from Corinth, and again at Baldwin, 
thirty miles from Corinth, awaiting a pursuit by 
Halleck's forces, now numbering 120,000, but they 
were not disturbed. Instead of following up his 
advantages after the evacuation of Corinth and the 
capture of Memphis, Halleck scattered his army 
over such an extent of territory that it was power- 
less for offence. If Grant had been roughly handled 
at Shiloh, he had at least exposed the weakness of 
his enemy, and left them in a position to invite an 
attack from Halleck's superior forces. Instead of 
availing himself of this opportunity, " Old Brains," 
as Halleck was called, occupied two months in elab- 
orate preparations to secure a strategic position that 
might have been secured by a prompt movement 
immediately after Donelson. 

Spades were now trumps; and the applause, here- 
tofore so easily won by spectacular generals, who 
ordered spades to the rear, was succeeded by an 
extravagant devotion to this humble instrument of 

The idea of an unopposed march to the Gulf, that 
had preceded Shiloh, was definitely abandoned. 
General Grant believed that prompt action after 







18621 Mississippi Campaign. 147 

the taking of Corinth would have resulted in a 
bloodless advance to Atlanta, Vicksburgh, or some 
other desired point. lie insisted that the disper- 
sion of Halleck's forces after Corinth was a grievous 
mistake. Buell, who was ordered ea I * wards 
Chattanooga, was compelled to delay his movement 

in order t<> repair the damage done to the Memphis 

and Charleston Railroad by Mitchell, acting under 
his orders. His slow movements gave Bragg, who 
had succeeded Beauregard in command, an opportu- 
nity to rest, reorganise, and recruit his Army, They 

also enabled Bragg to contest the control <>f Middle 

Tenne>>ee and Kentucky, and prevented Buell from 

Carrying out his plans with reference to Chattano 
and East Tennessee. 

( )n June 27, 1862, Bragg began to transfer a large 
part of his Army to Chattanooga by rail, by way of 

Mobile, Covering the movement by a cavalry raid 
into West Tennessee. On June Ilth, Rosecrans 
took command at Corinth, and Thomas succeeded 
Pope, who had been ordered to the command of the 
Army of Virginia in the vain hope that he might 
be able to retrieve McClellan's disasters in that State. 

A week later the Confederate Army of the Mississippi 
was on its way from Tupelo, excepting 15,000 men 
left under the command of Price to watch Grant, 
and prevent him from sending further re-enforce- 
ments to Buell. 

West Tennessee was now under full control of the 
National forces; Memphis had been secured by a 
naval attack on June 6th, and the Mississippi was 
held from that point northward to its source. Hal- 

148 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

leek was ordered East, July 11, 1862, to succeed 
McClellan as General-in-Chief. Before leaving, he 
assigned Grant to the command of all the troops 
west of the Tennessee River, including those at 
Columbus and Cairo, ordering him to send two of 
his divisions under Thomas to re-enforce Buell in 
Middle Tennessee, and to send Hovey to join Curtis 
at Helena, Arkansas. Buell at this time was in 
chase of Bragg, who was pushing north, and threat- 
ening Louisville and Cincinnati. 

On taking this enlarged command, Grant returned 
to Corinth, and established his headquarters there. 
He was not, however, officially assigned to the com- 
mand known as the Department of the Tennessee, 
until October 25, 1862. Halleck had recommended 
as his own successor, Colonel Robert Allen, a grad- 
uate of the Military Academy, who was then serving 
on his staff as an aide. This selection was over- 
ruled at Washington, and the command was given 
to Grant. The army of 120,000 belonging to his 
new department was so scattered, and the activity 
of the hostile population by which he was surround- 
ed was so constant, that he was put on the defens- 
ive. His dislike of Halleck's engineering methods 
was shown by the immediate withdrawal from the 
lines of fortifications he established at Corinth with so 
much labour, to others more simple, and requiring a 
smaller force to man them. Grant tells us that the 
most anxious period of the war for him was when 
he was forced to abandon his natural role of the 
offensive to carry out the established policy of dis- 
persion. He was required to hold as much territory 

1862] Mississippi Campaign. 149 

as possible, and at the same time to keep his troops 
in readiness to re-enforce Buell. 

During the period from July 17th, when Halleck 
went, to September 7, 1862, Grant was occupied 
with the routine duties of a department com- 
mander. There was constant fighting between his 
troops and those of the enemy, with losses equal to 
those during the heaviest battles of the war with 
Mexico, but with nothing rising to the dimensions 
of great war, as measured by the standards of our 
civil struggle. The chief event had been the sur- 
render of the post of Clarksville, August 14th, by a 
weak-kneed commander. He was one of the two 
officers who led their regiments off of the field at 
the first fire at Shiloh, and had begged Grant with 
tears in his eyes to give him another opportunity. 
This was the result. 

During the five months following Shiloh, Mc- 
Clellan had been busy at the East in unsuccessful 
attempts to capture the Confederate capital at 
Richmond. He had forced the evacuation of York- 
town, and had fought the battles of Williamsburgh, 
Seven Pines or Fair Oaks, and the series of battles 
known as" The Seven Days' Retreat." Pope, who 
had been ordered to Virginia to assist McClellan, 
had been defeated in the disastrous battle of the 
Second Bull Run, and Lee, who, in his eagerness to 
take advantage of this success, had marched north 
into Maryland, had been defeated in his turn by the 
forces under McClellan at Antietam. 

Grant, during this time, was required to guard 
the long line from Memphis to Corinth, and to keep 

150 Ulysses S. Grant. H862 

constant watch on Price and Van Dorn, who threat- 
ened to capture some of his insufficiently garrisoned 
posts. His own method was to keep his enemies 
too busy by constant attack to allow them time for 
brewing mischief, but he was not free to follow his 
own devices. Forrest and Morgan, with their bold 
riders, circulated in his rear, capturing Murfreesboro 
and other outlying positions occupied by weak de- 
tachments, destroying or helping themselves to the 
provisions and military stores they found insuffi- 
ciently guarded, and securing numerous prisoners, 
including General Crittenden. 

September 15, 1S62, Price, in pursuance of his 
instructions t<> prevent Grant from re-enforcing 
Buell, united his forces with those of Van Dorn, and 
took possession of Iuka, twenty-two miles east of 
Corinth, on the Memphis and Charleston Railway. 
This post was garrisoned by a single regiment of 
Union troops, who withdrew when Price appeared. 
If he could have held this place, Price would have 
:i free t«> re-enforce Bragg; but Grant promptly 
sent Rosecrans and Ord, with 17,000 men, to re- 
cover I uk. 1 by a joint attack. This they did after a 
sharp battle, September 19 and 20, 1862. Grant 
lost 782 men. Price, who lost 15 16, retired in good 
order, and was not pursued, the road he followed in 
retreat having been by some mistake left unoc- 
cupied. During the engagement, Grant directed 
operations from Burnsville, a position which placed 
him between the two wings of his command. When 
word was brought him that Iuka was recaptured, 
he ordered a pursuit by the whole of Rosecrans's 

ASHTON, 13/ 



18621 Mississippi Campaign. 151 

command, accompanying it for a short distance to see 
that his commands were obeyed. When he turned 
back, the pursuit was discontinued by Rosecrans. 

The various calls for troops had left Grant at this 
time with but 50,000 men, and further depletions of 
his forces to re-enforce Buell compelled him to 
abandon a portion of his own territory. By Octo- 
ber 1, 1862, it became apparent that Van Dorn and 
Price had united their armies for a movement against 
Corinth. As a preliminary to it, Van Dorn had so 
stationed his forces as to prevent re-enforcements 
from reaching Corinth. An attack on that place 
was repulsed, with a heavy loss to the enemy, by 
Rosecrans, who held the works built under Grant's 
directions after Halleck's departure. Rosecrans had 
been ordered to follow up such a victory; but 
owing to delays, and mistakes in taking the wrong 
road, he did not overtake the fleeing enemy. He 
lost 2359 men in the battle of Corinth, and Van 
Dorn and Price lost 14,221. This battle finally 
relieved Grant from his anxiety as to the possession 
of the territory he commanded. After Corinth, he 
had 48,500 men, and the arrival of re-enforcements 
soon placed him in position for attack. 



OCTOBER, 1862 — JULY, 1 863. 

|Y November 2d, Grant was ready to 
assume offensive operations. Mem- 
phis was under his control, and Far- 
ragut had captured New Orleans; but 
the Mississippi did not yet run " un- 
vexed to the sea." Between these two cities were 
the Confederate strongholds of Vicksburg and Port 
Hudson, standing on high bluffs, at sharp bends of 
the river, in excellent positions for defence, and very 
difficult to assault. 

On October 8, 1862, Sherman was ordered to 
Memphis to take charge of a movement against 
Vicksburg, in co-operation with the fleet of Admiral 
Porter. November 2d, Grant commenced his own 
movement against Vicksburg, starting from Colum- 
bus as a base, and following the line of the Mis- 
sissippi Central Railroad, Sherman's co-operating 
column moving soon after from Memphis down the 
Mississippi in transports. A depot of supplies had 
been established at Holly Springs, forty-three miles 
south-east of Memphis, on the Mississippi Central 


1862-63] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 153 

Railroad. This place was in command of the Colo- 
nel of the 8th Wisconsin Regiment, who surren- 
dered Iuka without a fight; and when Van Dorn 
appeared before Holly Springs, December 20, 1862, 
he repeated that performance, promptly yielding 
his important post garrisoned by fifteen hundred 
men. The seizure and destruction of the large 
quantity of stores gathered there completely dis- 
concerted Grant's plan of proceeding against Vicks- 
burg, with Columbus as a base and Holly Springs as 
a second base, and it was promptly abandoned. 
His plans were further disturbed by a cavalry raid 
by Forrest, which cut off all communication with 
the North for more than a week, and for two weeks 
he subsisted his army of 30,000 men on supplies 
obtained from the surrounding country. This ex- 
perience satisfied him that it was impossible to 
maintain a long line of communication through an 
enemy's country, but that it was possible to subsist 
in a large part on the country itself. 

Sherman marched into Memphis, December 12, 
1862. Embarking his 32,000 men on transports, he 
reached the mouth of the Yazoo River, near Vicks- 
burg, on Christmas Day, having increased his force 
on the way by the addition of 12,000 men from 
Helena, Arkansas. He expected co-operation from 
Grant, who was then at Oxford, Mississippi, twenty- 
eight miles beyond Holly Springs, and from Banks, 
who was at Port Hudson. Neither of them was able 
to assist him, Grant for the reason just given. After 
occupying several days in reconnoitring, and learning 
that the enemy were being heavily re-enforced, Sher- 

1 54 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

man resolved to make an attack with the force he 
had, in order to get possession of the road which ran 
from the Yazoo River bottom to the Walnut Hills, 
six miles above the city of Vicksburg. There was no 
landing-place where he could secure solid footing, 
and he was compelled to conduct his fight in M an 
insular space of low, boggy ground, and with innu- 
merable bayous, or deep sloughs." He met with 
determined opposition, and was compelled to re- 
embark his command, after losing 1748 men in the 
battle of December 28 and 29, 1862, known as the 
battle of Chickasaw Bayou. The Confederate loss 
was 207. It was a season of unusually high water, 
and the region about Vicksburg was flooded ; narrow 
strips of land offering the only foothold that was to 
be obtained along the Mississippi and the bayous 
running parallel to it. 

The demands for the re-enforcement of Vicks- 
burg, occasioned by Grant's movement against it, 
had so weakened Bragg, that Rosecrans was able to 
make an effective attack upon him at Stone River, or 
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in an engagement lasting 
from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in 
which the Confederates were badly defeated. Bragg 
lost 25,560 men in this battle and Rosecrans, 1 1,578. 
This was a further illustration of the wisdom of 
Grant's policy of constantly maintaining the aggres- 
sive. After Stone River, Grant endeavoured, but 
in vain, to persuade Rosecrans, who was not then 
under his orders, to push Bragg vigorously, to pre- 
vent him frem sending re-enforcements to Johnston 
in Mississippi. 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg, 1 55 

General John B. McClernand, who was an officer 
of great political influence, had obtained permission 
from Mr. Lincoln to organise a special expedition 
under his command for a movement against Vicks- 
burg. On January 3, 1863, he arrived at Milliken's 
Bend, thirty-five miles above Vicksburg on the 
opposite side of the river. The next day, in accord- 
ance with a suggestion from Sherman, he embarked 
32,000 men in transports, and started, under the con- 
voy of Porter's fleet, to capture Fort Hindman at 
Arkansas Post, fifty miles up the Arkansas River. 
He carried the place by storm, capturing 4791 pris- 
oners; the total Confederate loss being 5500, and 
his own 977. The next day McClernand received 
orders from Grant to return to Milliken's Bend. 

McClernand's success had cleared out a large force 
of Confederate troops, which, if left in the rear dur- 
ing the advance on Vicksburg, might have caused 
much perplexity. On January 10th, Grant estab- 
lished his headquarters at Memphis. On January 
29th, he removed to Young's Point, some distance 
above Vicksburg on the opposite bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, and took command of the combined forces 
of Sherman and McClernand. From this point 
dates the serious work of his campaign against 

This Confederate stronghold was located on the 
first high land coming to the edge of the river below 
Memphis. It stood two hundred feet above the 
river, amid a series of irregular hills. The Missis- 
sippi in its meanderings touches the line of bluffs 
at Vicksburg, and again at Warrenton, eight miles 

156 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

below Vicksburg, where it runs along the bluff for 
three miles. It again approaches high ground at 
Grand Gulf, just below the mouth of the Big Black 
River, and at Bruinsburg, ten miles below Grand 
Gulf, where there is a level bit of ground between 
the bluffs and the river. Access from the river, below 
Vicksburg, is cut off by swampy ground, except at 
the points named. The distance between Vicks- 
burg and Bruinsburg, following the course of the 
stream, is thirty-five miles, the gigantic river sweep- 
ing through immense curves at this point. The 
bluff on which Vicksburg is situated extends from 
Haines's Bluff on the north, twenty miles to Grand 
Gulf on the south, and varies from fifty to two 
hundred feet in height. 

In the spring of 1863 the Confederate Army, 
30,000 men, under General Pemberton, held a strong 
line of works at Haines's Bluff above Vicksburg, at 
Vicksburg itself, and at Grand Gulf below it. Vicks- 
burg was described by the President of the Con- 
federacy as ' the Gibraltar of America," the 
Confederates apparently having several of these 
Gibraltars for Grant to capture. To assault it he 
brought an effective force of 50,000 men ; and he 
was aided by the Navy under Admiral D. D. Porter 
with seven armour-clads, protecting the large fleet of 
transports and barges, and ready to take part in 
offensive operations. 

The batteries defending Vicksburg had been con- 
structed by officers formerly belonging to the Engi- 
neer Corps of the United States Army, and were 
most perfectly adapted to resist attack from the 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 157 

water. The Mississippi here turns completely on 
itself. All along the bluffs cannon were mounted 
behind heavy parapets made of cotton bales covered 
with earth and having bomb-proofs and magazines. 
It was difficult to hit these almost invisible guns, 
and the curves of the shore gave opportunity for 
concentric fire on vessels struggling with the eddies 
and currents of the treacherous river. 

The problem before Grant was much like that 
which confronted Archimedes. He sought a base 
for his fulcrum, — a sufficient footing of dry ground 
amid the flood of waters, on which to plant his 
troops and batteries. Having once resolved upon 
his task, he had determined to pursue it to the end, 
regardless of the difficulties he might encounter. It 
was a time of discouragement at the North. The 
war that was to have lasted only ninety days had 
dragged its slow length along for over two and a 
half years. Over seven hundred engagements, large 
and small, were on the records of battle, but no 
thoroughly decisive result had yet been obtained in 
any quarter. One demand for troops had succeeded 
another, until over thirteen hundred thousand men 
had been called into the National service for longer 
or shorter periods. The expenditure of treasure 
was sufficient to discourage even a power so rich 
in territory and resources as the United States. 

There was nothing left to be done,'' says Grant, 
' but to go forward to a decisive victory." 

In June, 1862, Farragut's fleet, which had cap- 
tured New Orleans in the previous April, moved 
up to Vicksburg, and made an attempt to reduce the 

158 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

place by bombardment. After the trial of a month, 
during which our naval vessels had gallantly run the 
river batteries, this attempt was abandoned. An 
effort had been made about this time to get into the 
rear of Vicksburg by cutting a ditch or canal a mile 
in length across the peninsula formed by the sharp 
bend in the Mississippi. It was resolved to deepen 
and widen this canal ; and much labour was wasted 
in the vain attempt to accomplish this, every effort 
being made meanwhile to discover some high 
ground to furnish foothold for a landing. Another 
attempt was made to cut a canal by making use of 
Lake Providence, a former bed of the Mississippi. 
This also proved a failure, as did other attempts to 
secure advantages by changing the customary course 
of the river. These various efforts to turn the forces 
of nature against Vicksburg occupied the season of 
high water, when troops could not move on land. 

In March, 1863, Grant's quarters were at Milli- 
ken's Bend, fifteen miles from Vicksburg as the 
crow flies. His troops were stretched from Young's 
Point, ten miles nearer Vicksburg, to Lake Provi- 
dence, farther up the river. Their camps were in 
low, swampy ground, and were frequently sub- 
merged. The levees between them and the river, 
holding back the waters of the Mississippi, were 
dotted for miles with the graves of their comrades 
killed in battle, or victims to the various diseases 
bred by unhealthy conditions, and who could find 
no other burial-place in that wet country. Toward 
the end of March orders were given to concentrate 
at Milliken's Bend. 

0iiiiiim« , * , iiiii» | iiii«////^\„ l „,,|||iiiiiiiii 


^uif /M exlc o 

#cate of Miles 


1863J Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 1 59 

The waters of the river were now receding, and, as 
it was becoming possible to move the troops by land, 
an attempt was to be made to take Vicksburg in re- 
verse by conveying the troops down the river on the 
west bank, and crossing the river below. Through 
a region partially overflowed by water, sometimes 
marching, sometimes rowing through the woods in 
boats, and here and there waiting to bridge bayous, 
the troops advanced south from Milliken's Bend by 
way of Richmond to Perkins's Plantation, ten or 
twelve miles below New Carthage. It was found 
impracticable, however, to convey supplies to the 
Army from Milliken's Bend over the single narrow 
and almost impassable road through the flooded land. 
It was accordingly determined that Admiral Porter's 
vessels should run by the Vicksburg batteries, con- 
voying vessels loaded with supplies. The first at- 
tempt was made on the night of April 15, 1863, 
when Porter ran the batteries with seven iron-clads, 
convoying three transports loaded with army supplies 
and ammunition, and protected by ten barges lashed 
alongside, and loaded with coal and forage. 

General Sherman, in his Memoirs, says: 

" I was out in the stream when the fleet passed Vicksburg, and 
the scene was truly sublime. As soon as the rebel gunners detected 
the Benton (Porter's flag-ship), which was in the lead, they opened on 
her, and on the others in succession, with shot and shell ; houses on 
the Vicksburg side, and on the opposite shore, were set on fire, which 
lighted up the whole river ; and the war of cannon, the bursting of 
shells, and finally the burning of the Henry Clay, drifting with the 
current, made up a picture of the terrible not often seen. Each gun- 
boat returned the fire as she passed the town, while the transports 
hugged the opposite shore." 

160 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862 

Every transport was struck, and one was sunk. 
On the night of April 26, 1865, six more transports, 
with barges loaded with army supplies, passed the 
batteries. One of these transports was sunk, one 
was burned, and five barges were disabled by the fire 
of the enemy. War-vessels had run by batteries 
before this; but it was a new experience for the 
Confederates to see unarmed river steamboats defy- 
ing their guns, and the sight was not a comfortable 
one for them. As the hired crews of the transports 
and barges would not risk their lives before the 
Vicksburg batteries, volunteers from the Army were 
called for. They were .so namerous and so zealous, 
that those who secured places on the boats were 
offered premiums for the privilege of taking their 
places, and one young soldier refused an offer of 
one hundred dollars for his chance of being killed. 
From a single regiment alone one hundred and 
sixteen men and sixteen commissioned officers vol- 
unteered as pilot-, engineers, firemen, or deck-hands. 
It was found necessary to draw lots to select the 
number needed from the hundreds who wished to go. 

An attempt was made to find a landing for the 
troops on the east bank of the Mississippi above 
Grand Gulf. This proving impracticable, they were 
moved farther down the west bank to a place called 
Hard Times; as many as possible being conveyed in 
the few transports available, the rest marching across 
the country, bridging three bayous as they went. 
From here it was necessary to pass the batteries at 
Grand Gulf in order to reach some point below that 
place. About 10,000 men, all the transports and 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 16 1 

barges could carry, were embarked ready to move 
as soon as Porter should have silenced the batteries ; 
but, after a fierce bombardment of over five hours, he 
was obliged to withdraw his shattered fleet, without 
having been able to silence a single gun. It then 
became necessary to disembark the troops, and move 
across a point of land opposite Grand Gulf known 
as Coffee Point, using the levee for a road to De 
Shroon below Grand Gulf. The bombardment was 
renewed that night ; and under the cover of Porter's 
guns, Grant boldly ran his transports, loaded with 
supplies, past the Grand Gulf batteries without los- 
ing one of them. It was a hazardous but successful 

At De Shroon, early on the morning of April 
30th, McClernand's Corps and one division of Mc- 
Pherson's Corps were re-embarked on the transports, 
and moved down the river in search of a landing on 
the east bank, General Grant leading the way with 
Porter on the flag-ship Benton. 

A landing was made at a dilapidated plantation 
known as Bruinsburg. Grant went ashore here, and 
obtained from a stray coloured man important in- 
formation concerning the roads leading into the in- 
terior. The troops were then promptly landed, and 
the line of march was taken for Port Gibson, seven 
miles in the rear of Grand Gulf, and twelve from 
Bruinsburg. The enemy were encountered at two 
o'clock on the morning of May 1, 1863, and defeated 
after a sharp engagement lasting through the day. 

The country through which operations must be 

conducted in the rear of Grand Gulf and Vicksburg 

1 62 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

was admirably adapted for defence. It was a series 
of rugged ridges, divided by deep ravines abounding 
in creeks and bayous, and covered with a tangle of 
vines and cane-brakes. Fifty miles to the east of 
Vicksburg was Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, 
where General Joseph E. Johnston was located with 
a heavy Confederate force. Grant's plan now was 
to interpose between Johnston and Pemberton, who 
was defending Vicksburg, and destroy the two in 
detail. He had landed in Mississippi, after crossing 
the river from the Louisiana shore, with a smaller 
force than the enemy he was seeking; but their 
60,000 men were scattered for fifty miles, from 
Vicksburg to Grand Gulf, and he was stronger at 
the immediate point of contact. 

To distract attention from his own movements, he 
had ordered Sherman to make, before joining him, a 
strong demonstration against Haines's Bluff, assisted 
by Admiral Porter with his fleet ; and General Ben- 
jamin H. Grierson was started on a raid against the 
communications of the enemy, such as had upset 
Grant's own calculations at Holly Springs when 
undertaken by an enterprising Confederate cavalry 
leader. Grierson started from La Grange, Tennes- 
see, April 18, 1863, with a force of 1700 mounted 
men, including a battery of artillery, made a clear 
sweep around the Confederate lines in the rear of 
Vicksburg, and finally brought up at Port Hudson, 
May 2d, after a march of 600 miles, or an average of 
37^- miles a day. He did much damage, and greatly 
demoralised the forces defending Vicksburg. 

When Grant obtained a footing at Bruinsburg and 

18631 Siege and Surrender of Vic ksburg. 163 

captured Port Gibson, the enemy retired before him 
as his columns advanced. He took Grand Gulf in 
the reverse, and secured possession of that place May 
3, 1863, after some heavy skirmishing, but without 
serious fighting. He had at this time about 20,000 
men ; and on May 7th Sherman joined him with two 
divisions of the Fifteenth Corps, increasing his total 
to 33,000. Re-enforcements subsequently received 
added 10,000 men to his command. 

Possessed of Grand Gulf, Grant decided on the 
bold expedient of protecting himself against an 
attack in his rear by leaving himself without any 
rear. He determined to cut loose from any base, 
carrying what supplies he could with him, gathering 
others from the country as he went along. Nobody 
believed in this venture but Grant himself; and 
though Sherman was a subordinate, and a loyal 
friend, he protested strongly against it in a letter 
that Grant magnanimously withheld after his success 
until Sherman made it public. The real danger was 
from interference by the cautious and distrustful 
Halleck. If the General-in-Chief had been on hand, 
or had understood the situation and could have 
reached Grant, the movement would have been cut 
short at its inception. Grant counted upon advanc- 
ing so far with his plan, that, before Halleck could be 
heard from, his interference would come too late. 

I knew Halleck." he said, '* and that he was too 
learned a soldier to consent to a campaign in viola- 
tion of all the principles of the art of war. " Not 
only did Sherman oppose the bold plan, but also 
Logan, McPherson, and every prominent officer of the 

1 64 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

Army. Never were Grant's self-reliance and determ- 
ination shown so conspicuously as on this occasion. 
When Grant arrived at Grand Gulf, he had been 
separated for a week from his baggage, and had noth- 
ing with him but a tooth-brush. lie had had but 
little to eat. had been three days and nights in the sad- 
dle, without sleep, and was altogether in a condition 
most uncomfortable and very much out of keeping 

with the dignity of his position. So soon as he could 
do so, lu- irisited the flag-ship of Porter's fleet, which 

had run the river batteries at Grand Gulf. Here he 

'•: a bath, borrowed some underclothing, and sat 

down t.> the first good meal which he had had for 

r a week. lie had shared the fare of the com- 
mon soldiers, and had slept with them upon the 
Open ground, without SO much a- .1 blanket to cover 

him. I IN army had been without transportation; 
and the ammunition train was a curious assemblage 

of fine carriages, farm v. oupled w. 

gons with racks I trying cotton bah very 

vehicle, indeed, that could be found on the planta- 
tions which had been used either for work or pleasure. 
These vehicles were a nondescript outfit, drawn by 
\\ and mules wearing plough harness, or straw 
collars and rope lin 

At Grand Gulf, Grant wrote letters to the General- 
in-Chief, prepared telegrams to be sent from Cairo, 
and gave his final orders to his corps commanders 
for the work before them. He started on his ad- 
venture, carrying only three days' rations for his 
troops, but an abundance of supplies was obtained 
by foraging on the country. His success in thus 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 165 

feeding his army made a complete convert of Sher- 
man to his plans; and he made important use of the 
experience here acquired, when later on he cut loose 
from Atlanta and marched to the sea. The narrow 
ridge roads, which offered the only means of pro- 
gress through the low country, compelled Grant to 
move his troops by detachments in parallel columns, 
keeping touch with each other by reconnoissances to 
determine lines of communication. lie used his 
cavalry as he advanced to ascertain what was in 
front of him, and to open the way for the progress 
of the main body. The season had by this time so 
far advanced that the weather was intensely hot. 

After a battle at Port Gibson, May 1, 1863, in 
which he lost 853 men, Grant encountered no seri- 
ous opposition until he arrived at Raymond on May 
1 2th. Here battle was again joined, and the enemy 
was driven back with a loss of 514 men, the Union 
loss being 442. This victory determined him to 
undertake the capture of Jackson by a bold stroke, 
and then turn upon Pemberton, who was on his left 
with nearly 50,000 men. Up to this time he had 
depended in some measure on rations brought up 
from Grand Gulf; but now he cut loose altogether 
from any base, in order that he might be able to bring 
into battle the troops that would be otherwise occu- 
pied in keeping open communications with the Mis- 
sissippi River. He intended to protect his rear by 
keeping the enemy so well occupied that they would 
have no opportunity for detached movements. 

So long as he was within reach of Grand Gulf, 
every restriction of red-tape routine was disregarded 

1 66 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

to secure the prompt forwarding of supplies from 
that point. His commissary there was ordered to 
load all teams presenting themselves for rations with 
promptness and despatch, regardless of requisitions 
or provision returns. Grant must have smiled to 
himself, when he remembered that, in swinging- 
loose from his base on the Mississippi, he was shut- 
ting himself off from all communication with Wash- 
ington, andthp.t, whatever might be the result of his 
adventure, he would not be interfered with. 

General Joseph E. Johnston had arrived at Jackson 
on May 13, 1863, and had tn.ken command of the 
Confederate forces in Mississippi. With Pemberton 
in his rear at Vicksburg, and Johnston in front of 
him at Jackson, Grant's position was a critical one. 
He was between two formidable armies, and was 
without means of obtaining additional supplies 
except by foraging. He would be ruined if his 
enemies could combine their forces, or could prevent 
him from ultimately establishing a new base of 
supplies. Rapidity of movement and uniform suc- 
cess were essential to safety. An attack from Pem- 
berton was fully expected and provided against, but 
it did not come. There were heavy rains on May 
13th and 14th, and the roads were in some places a 
foot deep in water. Battle was opened by Sherman 
in front of Jackson by nine o'clock, May 14, 1863; 
and before night Grant had established his head- 
quarters in the State House of the capital, having 
lost 294 men in the attack, and punished the enemy 
with a loss of 845. 

Jackson was an important railroad centre, and 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 167 

numerous factories for the manufacture of munitions 
of war had been established there by the Confed- 
eracy. It was fifty miles in the rear of Vicksburg, 
and controlled the railroads over which that post 
received supplies. Everything that could be of use 
to the enemy, including railroads and bridges, was 
destroyed at Jackson. Young women were found 
in the factories, undismayed by the sound of battle 
around them, hard at work manufacturing tent-cloth 
with the letters " C. S. A." woven into each bolt. 

Meantime Pemberton had waked up, and was ad- 
vancing from Vicksburg to assail his enemy in the 
rear. Withdrawing his troops from Jackson, Grant 
moved west towards Vicksburg, and encountered the 
enemy on May 6th at Champion's Hill, — a densely 
wooded ridge, some seventy feet in height, situated 
on Baker's Creek, a little stream running into the Big 
Black River, which empties into the Mississippi south 
of Vicksburg. He had received timely warning of 
Pemberton's movement from a captured despatch, 
and had concentrated his troops for the attack. 
After a hard-fought battle, the Confederates were 
defeated with a loss of 4300 men, the Union loss 
being 2457. After the battle, Pemberton retreated 
to Vicksburg, leaving behind him Loring's division, 
which was cut off from the main body, and withdrew 
to Jackson, making a long detour by way of Crystal 
Springs. Grant's total force for the line of battle 
was at this time but 35,000, with twenty field 

The success at Champion's Hill had permanently 
divided the forces of Johnston and Pemberton, for 

1 68 Ulysses S. Grant. 


a movement by Pemberton to join Johnston at Jack- 
son would have surrendered Vicksburg. How very 
narrowly Grant escaped the chief danger he feared, 
was shown by the arrival of a staff officer from 
Banks on May 17th, bearing a letter from Halleck 
dated May 11th, and sent by way of New Orleans. 
This ordered Grant to return to Grand Gulf, and co- 
operate with Banks against Port Hudson, before 
laying siege to Vicksburg. Answer was returned 
that the order came too late, and that it never would 
have been given had Halleck understood the situa- 
tion. That it was given at all was a striking illus- 
tration of the vicious system that prevailed under 
Halleck of directing men who knew more than he 
did, concerning matters which they understood far 
better than he possibly could, viewing them from 
the distance of Washington. 

Pemberton made another and a final stand on May 
17, 1863, at Big Black River, where he lost 18 guns 
and 1 75 1 prisoners, besides his killed and wounded. 
Grant's loss was 279. The Confederates fled so pre- 
cipitously that their chief loss was in prisoners, and 
in men drowned in undertaking to escape across the 
river in face of a pursuing enemy. The bridges 
across Big Black River had been destroyed, but 
three rude bridges were completed before the next 
morning; and on these Grant's whole force crossed, 
arriving on May 19, 1863, in the rear of Vicksburg. 

Vicksburg was not yet captured ; but after six 
months of infinite toil, patience, and hardship, Grant 
had accomplished his purpose of putting himself in 
a position to invest that stronghold. The campaign 


1863] Siege and Su r render of I r icksb arg. 169 

was a success thus far, however it might end. The 
methods adopted had placed Sherman in the posi- 
tion he had sought in vain to attain by more direct 
approach five months earlier. Grant was vindicated, 
and Sherman was satisfied. Halleck, if not content, 
could no longer complain. 

By May 21st, the lines of investment drawn 
around Vicksburg were completed, six hundred 
yards from the Confederate works. The troops 
were made happy the same night by the arrival at 
Haines's Bluff of trains bearing the full army rations, 
including their much-desired coffee and hardtack. 
Living off the country was very well as a strategic 
necessity, and there was an abundance of food, but 
it was not of a kind to fully satisfy the army stom- 
ach. In his Memoirs, Grant says: " I remember 
that in passing around to the left of the line on the 
2 1st, a soldier, recognising me, said in rather a low 
voice, but yet so that I heard him, ' Hard tack ! ' In 
a moment the cry was taken up all along the line, 
1 Hard tack! Hard tack! ' I told the men nearest 
to me that we had been engaged ever since the arrival 
of troops in building a road over which to supply 
them with everything they needed. The cry was 
instantly changed to cheers." 

On May 22d, 1863, Porter's war-vessels moved up 
before Vicksburg, and opened fire on the river front. 
The Army at the same time made three assaults in 
an attempt to carry the Confederate lines in the rear 
of the city. Though these assaults were unsuccess- 
ful, they are described by S. H. Locket, Chief En- 
gineer of the Confederate defences, as " made with 

1 70 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

great determination and admirable courage." The 
losses on both sides were severe. It was an heroic 
attempt, and it satisfied the impatience of the Army 
for an immediate result. It was clear now that the 
only plan left was for a regular siege, and Grant was 
compelled to submit patiently to an application of 
engineering methods. 

Within twenty days from the time he crossed the 
Mississippi at Bruinsburg, below Vicksburg, he had 
marched 180 miles, had gained five battles with a loss 
to the enemy of 88 cannon and 12,500 men, had 
captured the capital of Mississippi and destroyed it 
as a depot of supplies, and had finally accomplished 
his main object of drawing his lines of investment 
around Vicksburg. This result had occupied the su- 
preme efforts of the force of 43,000 men he brought 
with him across the Mississippi. His successful 
movement had been made through a country excel- 
lently adapted for defence, and in face of the opposi- 
tion of a scattered force of over 60,000 Confederates. 
He had divided and conquered. His own forces 
had been kept well together; and the largest number 
he had had to contend with in any one battle was 
25,000, at Champion's Hill. His total loss up to 
this time was 4379 men, only 259 of whom were 
classed as missing. 

The line of defence about Vicksburg was seven 
miles: the line of investment extended for fifteen 
miles, — from Haines's Bluff on the north, to War- 
renton on the south. Grant's movement had inter- 
posed between Vicksburg and Haines's Bluff, and 
compelled the evacuation of the latter stronghold, 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. i 7 1 

which was now occupied as a base of supplies. 
Halleck had finally awakened to the situation, and 
concluded that Grant was more useful where he was 
than in undertaking to help Banks. He responded 
promptly to the call for re-enforcements; and by 
June 14th Grant's forces had been increased to 
71,000 men, and new men were being forwarded 
with all possible despatch. The siege began with 
the field artillery of six thirty-two-pounders, and a 
battery of Navy guns borrowed from the fleet and 
manned by the sailors. Mortars were constructed 
for six- and twelve-pound shells by boring out logs 
of hard wood and strapping them with iron. The 
supply of ammunition was unlimited. With the 
assistance of negroes hired to do the work, two 
hundred and twenty guns had been placed in posi- 
tion by June 20, 1863. 

The danger from Johnston in the rear continued, 
and it was feared that his force might be increased 
by re-enforcements sufficiently to raise the siege by 
a bold attack. To protect the rear, Haines's Bluff 
was still more strongly fortified, and batteries were 
located at all commanding points from there to the 
Big Black River, and these were connected by rifle- 
pits. Johnston finally moved; and news was re- 
ceived on June 22, 1863, that he had crossed the 
Big Black River, and was advancing to attack the 
besieging army. An intercepted despatch showed 
that the enemy in Vicksburg were so disheartened 
that they were not likely to assist Johnston by a co- 
operative movement ; that Pemberton's soldiers 
were clamouring for a surrender; and that an at- 

1 72 Ulysses S. Grant [1862- 

tempt would be made to escape by crossing the 
river in the night. Every precaution was taken by 
Grant and Admiral Porter to prevent this escape. 

Johnston's movement was not quick enough to 
be of any service to Pemberton. While he waited, 
Grant's engineers advanced their parallels and sap- 
rollers close up to one of the Confederate redans, 
and everything was now ready for the assault. 
This was ordered for July 6th. On July 1st a mine 
under one of the Vicksburg redans was exploded 
with one and a quarter tons of powder, destroying 
the redan, and making a breach of nearly twenty 
feet in the intrenchment across the gorge of the 
work. The men over the mine were blown into 
the air, and some of them descended alive within 
the Union lines, one negro coming down with the 
news that he had gone up " 'bout tree mile." The 
defence rallied, and poured so deadly a fire into the 
breach that the attempted assault was a failure. 

By this time Pemberton had decided that a sur- 
render was necessary. He was a Northern man, 
born in the State of Pennsylvania, and knew the 
sentiment concerning the Fourth of July. He 
reasoned that the eagerness of Grant to secure the 
celebration of that day by a great victory would 
secure for him better conditions. He raised the 
white flag on July 3d. Porter was notified, and 
hostilities by the Army and Navy were suspended. 
Says Grant in his Memoirs : 

1 ' It was a glorious sight to officers and soldiers on the line where 
those white flags were visible, and the news soon spread to all parts 
of the command. The troops felt that their long and weary marches, 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 1 73 

hard fighting, ceaseless watching by night and day in a hot climate, 
exposure to all sorts of weather, to diseases, and, worst of all, to gibes 
of many Northern papers that came to them saying all their suffering 
was in vain, that Vicksburg would never be taken, were at last at an 
end, and the Union sure to be saved." 

Pemberton had asked for the appointment of three 
commissioners on each side, to arrange terms and 
" to save the further effusion of blood." Grant 
replied : 

" The useless effusion of blood you propose stopping can be ended 
at any time you may choose by an unconditional surrender of the 
city and garrison. Men who have shown so much endurance and 
courage as those now in Vicksburg will always challenge the respect 
of an adversary, and, I can assure you, will be treated with all the re- 
spect due to prisoners of war. I do not favor the proposition of ap- 
pointing commissioners to arrange the terms of capitulation, because 
I have no terms other than those indicated above." 

If this communication had not been signed, its 
recipient could readily have supplied the omission 
by adding to it the words Unconditional Surrender 

In answer to a verbal message from Pemberton, a 
personal interview was arranged for; and the two 
commanders, with their staff officers, met near a 
stunted oak-tree standing on a hillside just outside 
of the Confederate line. Pemberton and Grant had 
served in the same division during the Mexican War, 
and greeted each other as old acquaintances. Terms 
of ' Unconditional Surrender ' were repeated. 
Pemberton seemed disposed to reject them, and 
turned abruptly as if to leave. Confederate General 

1 74 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

Bowen, who had known Grant at St. Louis, then 
proposed a conference between himself and one of 
Grant's generals, which resulted in a suggestion that 
the Confederates should be allowed to march out 
with the honours of war. This proposition was 
rejected without ceremony, and the interview ended 
with the promise that final terms would be sent by 
letter not later than ten o'clock that night. 

Grant then called what he describes as the nearest 
approach to a council of war he ever had. He 
submitted the case to his corps and division com- 
manders, inviting suggestions, but stating that he 
would reserve the right to finally determine the 
matter himself. His conclusion was in opposition 
to the almost unanimous judgment of the council. 
He wrote to Pemberton proposing to march a divis- 
ion to Vicksburg the next morning as a guard; to 
parole officers and men ; and to allow officers to leave 
with their side-arms and clothing, men with their 
clothing, mounted officers taking one horse each. 
Thirty waggons were allowed for transportation, 
necessary rations and cooking utensils to be taken. 

The Confederates had deciphered Grant's signal 
code, and read a communication to Porter concern- 
ing the disposition to be made of prisoners. In this 
way they learned that the Navy could not furnish 
transportation to the North for so many men, and 
that they would have to be paroled. It was this 
that encouraged Pemberton to insist upon his de- 
mands, and the necessity of taking care of so large 
a body of prisoners led Grant to modify his condi- 
tions of surrender to the extent which he did. 

1863] Siege and Surrender of Vicksburg. 1 75 

To Grant's letter Pemberton replied, proposing 
that he be allowed the additional favour of march- 
ing out with his colours and arms, and stacking arms 
in front of his lines ; " officers to retain their side- 
arms and personal property, and the rights and 
property of citizens to be respected." This com- 
munication was received after midnight on July 3, 
1863. In reply Grant declined to make any " stipu- 
lations with regard to the treatment of citizens and 
their private property." He said : 

■• While I do not propose to cause them any undue annoyance or 
loss, I cannot consent to leave myself under any restraint by stipula- 
tions. . .If you mean by your proposition for each brigade to 
march to the front of the lines now occupied by it, and stack arms 
at 10 A.M. and then return to the inside, and there remain as prisoners 
until properly paroled, I will make no objection to it. Should no 
notification be received of your acceptance of my terms by 9 A.M., I 
shall regard them as having been rejected, and shall act accordingly. 
Should these terms be accepted, white flags should be displayed along 
your lines, to prevent such of my troops as may not have been noti- 
fied from firing upon your men." 

The white flags appeared, and the surrender of 
the fortress of Vicksburg was completed on the 
Fourth of July, 1863, — the day on which Lee's army 
had started on its return journey to Virginia, after 
three days' unsuccessful battle with Meade's forces 
at Gettysburg. Thirty-one thousand six hundred 
prisoners were surrendered, 60,000 muskets, 172 
cannon, and large quantities of ammunition. The 
Confederate small-arms were so much superior to 
those borne by Grant's men, that an exchange was 
made wherever any advantage was found, and the 
inferior weapons were turned in as captured guns. 




& w as Eg '*« .»' ** 

N the spot where Grant and Pemberton 
held the interview that resulted in 
the surrender of Vicksburg, is reared 
a monument with this legend : 

"To the Memory of the Surrender of Vicksburg by Lieutenant 
J. G. Pemberton to Major-General U. S. Grant, U. S. A., on the 3d 
of July, 1863." 

This stands as a memorial for all time of one of 
the most successful enterprises of our Civil War, and 
one of the most notable sieges in history. Fort 
Donelson ended the war in Kentucky; Pea Ridge 
ended the war in Missouri. Now the surrender of 
Vicksburg and of Port Hudson drove the Confed- 
erates from Mississippi, and restored to the nation 
its rightful control of that magnificent interior basin 
having a central watershed of more than twelve 
hundred thousand miles, and, with its tributaries 
twice that area. The territory included in the Mis- 
sissippi basin exceeds that of the whole European 
12 177 

178 Ulysses S. Grant, [1863 

continent, exclusive of Russia, Norway, and Sweden. 
Its river system includes 40,000 miles of steam navi- 
gation, and it is estimated that on its rich alluvial 
soil could be found homes for 200,000,000 people. 
Dispossessed of this magnificent realm, the South- 
ern Confederacy's dream of a great semi-tropical 
slave empire was only a dream. No other river, 
except the Amazon, opens so wide an area of navi- 
gation : and not only the Mississippi itself, but its 
chief tributary streams north of Vicksburg, were in 
control of the National authority. As the National 
flag was unfolded to the breeze on the Court House 
at Vicksburg, the earth shook with the salvos of 
artillery, and the air rang with the huzzas of fifty 
thousand men. " Grant with piacid smile raised 
his hat, turned to a drum-major behind him, and ere 
those joyous sounds could be repeated, every occu- 
pant of that plateau was listening to the swelling 
notes of that world-wide hymn of praise, ' Old 
Hundred/ " 

The citizens of Vicksburg had equal occasion with 
the Union soldiers to join in this hymn and rejoice 
in the result. They had suffered great hardship and 
discomfort during the siege. Many of them had 
lived in caves, dug in the bluffs to protect them 
against artillery fire. The market price of even 
mule-meat had been a dollar a pound in Confederate 
currency ; flour was a thousand dollars a barrel ; meal, 
one hundred and fifty dollars a bushel ; and those 
who sought for a stimulant to enable them to resist 
the depressing influences of danger and disease were 
obliged to pay one hundred dollars a gallon for rum. 

1863] Incidents of the Siege of Vicksburg. i 79 

Other stimulants were to be had outside the Con- 
federate lines at least ; for we are told that while his 
officers were celebrating the hundred and thirty-first 
birthday of Washington in champagne, General 
Grant pushed aside a glass of wine, and, taking up 
a glass of Mississippi water with the remark, ' This 
suits the matter in hand," drank to the toast, " God 
gave us Lincoln and liberty, let us- fight for both! " 

Not a drop of intoxicating liquor of any sort was 
to be had on the steamboat where Grant had his 
headquarters; and an officer who spent a dry month 
with him there reports, that, while he was treated 
with the greatest hospitality in other respects, he was 
told that if he wanted anything to drink, he would 
have to go to another boat. General Grant led him 
to one of the staterooms on the boat, which was 
filled with cigars of varying degrees of excellence, 
all of which had been received with the compliments 
of the sender. The best brands were indicated, and 
he was told to help himself. The habit of smoking 
Grant acquired at West Point, partly, as he tells us, 
because it was forbidden there. Towards the close 
of his life he said: ** Looking back at the comfort 
and refreshment which a cigar has given me through 
a pretty mixed career, mostly of hard knocks, I am 
free to say, that, even if I knew tobacco was shorten- 
ing my life, it would take more than my personal 
desire to live, to induce me to throw away my good 
friend here forever." 

The headquarters of the Commanding General 
were in the captain's cabin of the steamboat referred 
to, and there he transacted the business of his great 

180 Ulysses S. Grant. 11863 

army with singular absence of everything in the 
nature of formality and military display. He was 
accessible at all times to whomever chose to call on 
a legitimate errand, and his ears were always open 
to the suggestions that came from every quarter as 
to the way he should conduct the siege of Vicks- 
burg. There was no negro so humble that he could 
not find a hearing if he sought it. 

Grant listened and smoked, and smoked and lis- 
tened. No one could divine anything of his in- 
tentions. His inscrutable "Scotch eye' inspired 
confidence, but it did not convey knowledge. The 
intelligence with which he received valuable infor- 
mation, and his readiness to act upon it, are shown 
by a story told by Col. E. P. Vollum, Medical Corps, 
U. S. A. 

The total Union loss during the long siege of Vicks- 
burg, and the subsidiary operations leading up to it, 
amounted to 10,842 killed, wounded, and missing. 
A very large number had died of disease, and the 
great ravages in the ranks of the Army were made 
more apparent because of the difficulty in finding a 
dry spot in which to bury the dead. The levees of 
Vicksburg were lined with graves, and they were in 
evidence alike to the soldiers and to the numerous 
visitors and camp followers. 

The story of disease and death at Vicksburg was 
undoubtedly melancholy enough, but it grew in 
dimensions as it travelled North. The papers were 
filled with exaggerated statements, and again the 
clamour arose for Grant's removal. President Lin- 
coln, when a heavy pressure was brought to bear 

1863] Incidents of the Siege of Vicksburg. 1 8 1 

upon him, nearly yielded. Finally, after thinking a 
moment, he said, " I rather like the man. I think 
I '11 try him a little longer." The War Depart- 
ment decided to send a medical officer to make 
inspection, and Colonel Vollum, who was Medical 
Inspector of the Army of the Potomac, was chosen 
for the duty. He devoted a month to the most 
careful and critical examination of every detail of 
the medical and sanitary administration of Grant's 
command, and reported, that, while there was un- 
doubtedly a great deal of disease and death, the 
percentage in the Army before Vicksburg was no 
higher than that of the Army of the Potomac. 

When Colonel Vollum had finished his work and 
called upon General Grant to say good-by, he told 
him that he would furnish his Adjutant-General 
with a copy of the report he was about to make to 
the War Department. 

" No matter about that," answered the General. 
" Sit down here, Doctor, and tell me the substance 
of your report." Colonel Vollum gave as concisely 
as possible the story of his investigations and their 
result. Grant listened in silence, and then said, 
" Now tell me, Doctor, what it is you recommend." 
When the Medical officer's account was finished, 
Grant said, " I will issue an order on that subject 
to-morrow. ' ' He drew a pad towards him, and, after 
writing in silence for a short time, he called a mes- 
senger, and said, " Take that to the printer! ' 

The next day a general order was issued, embody- 
ing the results of Colonel Vollum's month's investi- 
gation, stated in the most concise language, and 

1 82 Ulysses S. Grant. T1863 

with the nice adaptation of his recommendation to 
the possibilities of military administration. Most 
general officers would have asked the Doctor to 
draw the order himself, and Grant's action in this 
matter was characteristic of the readiness with which 
he absorbed information, and the quickness and 
intelligence with which he applied it. He was much 
less dependent than most officers of his rank upon 
his staff for the substance, or even the form, of his 
orders. He gave close attention to the administra- 
tion of his great command, even in minute details. 
Finding that the officers and men who had permis- 
sion to go North on leave or furlough were being 
overcharged by the steamboat men, he issued an 
order limiting the charge to seven dollars for officers, 
and five dollars for men. Learning that this order 
was being disregarded, he promptly arrested a steam- 
boat captain who had charged from ten to twenty- 
five dollars, and compelled him to refund the excess. 
Aroused by this and other impositions of steamboat 
men, he said, " I will teach them, if they need the 
lesson, that the men who have perilled their lives to 
open the Mississippi River for their benefit cannot 
be imposed upon with impunity." When he was a 
colonel, Grant knew every man in his regiment by 
sight and by name ; as a general officer, and until 
he became Commander-in-Chief, he knew all of his 
officers. He had, moreover, the thorough knowledge 
of army minutiae, so essential to the success of the 

The trait of character shown by Grant as a young 
officer, when in crossing the Isthmus he assumed a 

1863] Incidents of the Siege of Vicksburg. 1 83 

dangerous responsibility in order to relieve his suf- 
fering command, distinguished him throughout his 
military career. He never hesitated to depart from 
routine where the security or comfort of his soldiers 
required it. He was, like his father before him, " a 
good provider," ever ready to sacrifice himself for 
the benefit of those dependent upon him. When 
the incipient scurvy appeared in his hospitals, he 
sent North for vegetables and acids, saying, "Onions 
and potatoes are indispensable to the taking of 
Vicksburg." The ladies of the Sanitary Commis- 
sion, who responded with enthusiasm to his call, 
also said, " Potatoes and onions captured Vicks- 

One of the difficulties experienced during the 
siege was that common to the administration of 
military affairs, — the difficulty of bringing the con- 
sumer and the supplies promptly together in the 
event of an emergency. Some years after the close 
of the war, and when Grant was President of the 
United States, he was called upon at the White 
House in Washington by an officer who had served 
with him at Vicksburg as a quartermaster. This 
officer was asked, " What are you doing here? ' 
" I am trying to get my accounts settled with the 
Treasury Department, General." " What is the 
trouble?" "They won't allow for some quarter- 
master's stores I issued to the hospitals at Vicks- 

" I know all about that," said the President. " I 
gave you the order myself. Send for the auditor." 

The auditor came, and reported that he could find 

184 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863 

no law authorising the issue of the stores in ques- 
tion, which had been absolutely needed for the com- 
fort of the sick and dying soldiers. " Very well," 
said Grant, " you will find the law, or I will find 
another auditor," — a terse statement, more effective 
than a decision of the Supreme Court to guide that 
particular auditor through the labyrinth of legal 

It should be remembered that all public stores 
issued to a disbursing officer of the Army are 
charged against him ; and, however legitimate or 
necessary the issue may have been, they remain a 
charge until the officer is able to satisfy various offi- 
cials of the Treasury Department that it was made 
under proper authority. The officer understands 
the necessity; the Treasury official understands, 
or thinks he understands, the law ; and there is 
often difficulty in reconciling the differing points 
of view. 

As soon as an advanced position was obtained by 
the Army, the Government, greatly to the annoy- 
ance of the military officers, sought immediately to 
extend trade to the limits of the military line. Gen- 
eral Grant was so greatly annoyed by this, that 
when at Holly Springs, in December, 1862, he got 
himself into trouble by an indiscreetly-worded order 
expelling from his department within twenty-four 
hours " the Jews, as a class, violating every regula- 
tion of trade established by the Treasury Depart- 
ment, and also department orders." This was 
revoked three weeks later by orders from Washing- 
ton, and it was made the basis of unjust charges of 

18633 Incidents of the Siege of Vicksburg. 185 

religious prejudice. Grant declared that he had not 
found one honest man following the Army as a 
trader, and, be he Jew or Christian, he hated a thief. 
To a stranger who came with recommendations 
from members of Congress, and other politicians, 
he said : 

" This is for a permit to buy cotton, is it not ? " 
" Yes." " Well, you can take it and leave these 
headquarters at once. If I find you here again, I will 
have you arrested. Men of your class are doing 
more to corrupt this army than all other kinds of 
rascality put together. ' ' 

Another distracting question, not strictly military, 
with which officers had to deal, was that concerning 
the negro slaves brought under their control by the 
extension of military lines. In the beginning the 
slaves were dealt with as private property, which 
can be taken, even in war, only for necessary pur- 
poses, and their master's rights over them were 
recognised. Finally, General Benjamin F. Butler 
conceived the ingenious plan of dealing with them 
as contraband of war, holding that their use in 
building fortifications and for other belligerent pur- 
poses brought them within this designation. They 
were henceforth known as " contrabands," and the 
master's right to his human chattels was no longer 

August 9, 1863, President Lincoln wrote to Grant, 
asking for his co-operation in a plan for enlisting 
negroes for the Army, to which duty General Lorenzo 
Thomas, A.-G., had been assigned. The General 
cordially responded, saying: 

1 86 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863 

44 1 have given the subject of arming the negro my hearty support. 
General Thomas is now with me, and you may rely upon it, 
I will give him all the aid in my power. ... I would do this 
whether the arming the negro seemed to me a wise policy or not, be- 
cause it is an order that I am bound to obey, and do not feel that in 
my position I have a right to question any policy of the Government. 
In this particular instance there is no objection, however, to my ex- 
pressing an honest conviction ; that is, by arming the negro we have 
added a powerful ally. They will make good soldiers, and taking 
them from the enemy weakens him in the same proportion they 
strengthen us. I am, therefore, most decidedly in favor of pushing 
this policy to the enlistment of a force sufficient to hold all the South 
falling into our hands, and to aid in capturing more." 

Some captured negroes having been brutally 
hanged by the Confederates, Grant wrote to the 
Confederate commander, General Richard Taylor, 
son of Zachary Taylor, saying, " If it is the policy 
of any general intrusted with command of troops 
to show no quarter, or to punish with death pris- 
oners taken in battle, I will accept the issue." He 
notified Taylor at the same time that he felt himself 
bound to give the same protection to negro troops 
that he did to any troops. 

The storm of detraction that followed Grant 
through so much of his military career was quieted 
after Vicksburg. On July 13th, President Lincoln 
wrote : 

44 My dear General : I do not remember that you and I ever met 
personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the 
almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say 
a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I 
thought you should do what you finally did — march the troops across 
the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below ; 
and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew 

1863] Incidents of the Siege of Vicksburg. 1 8 7 

better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could suc- 
ceed. When you got below and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf and 
vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General 
Banks ; and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I 
feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make a personal acknowledg- 
ment that you were right and I was wrong." 

Halleck's first message was one reproving Grant 
for paroling his prisoners, and was based upon an 
ignorance of facts. He followed later with a letter 
in which he said : 

" Your narration of the campaign, like the operations themselves, 
is brief, soldierly, and in every respect creditable and satisfactory. 
In boldness of plan, rapidity of execution, and brilliancy of routes, 
these operations will compare most favorably with those of Napoleon 
about Ulm. You and your army have well deserved the gratitude of 
your country, and it will be the boast of your children that their 
fathers were of the heroic army which reopened the Mississippi 

The Administration had given Grant generous 
support, according to their lights; but with the chief 
body of troops sent to him he had received what he 
regarded asa" thorn in the flesh," — " a messenger 
of Satan to buffet " him, in the person of the polit- 
ical general, McClernand, who brought into the 
Army an element of criticism, self-assertion, and 
insubordination, that was a constant menace to the 
success of the plans adopted. McClernand even 
went so far as to raise the issue, which he proposed 
to refer to Washington, as to whether he or Grant 
should command. 

Sherman had expressed the opinion that if Grant 
had adhered to his purpose in moving by way of 

1 88 Ulysses S. Grant. L1862- 

Holly Springs, he would have accomplished in Jan- 
uary what he did not accomplish, as it was, until 
July. Grant himself declares that if he had then 
had the confidence in his ability to live off of the 
country that he afterwards acquired, he would have 
followed his original plan of getting into the rear of 
Vicksburg. Sherman hints that other considera- 
tions than purely military ones influenced the change 
of plan. These are explained by the fact that when 
Grant, who had assigned Sherman to the co-opera- 
tive movement from Memphis, found that the 
general in whom he had full confidence was to be 
subordinated to McClernand, in whom he had little 
confidence, he felt compelled to take command 
himself of the forces on the Mississippi. When you 
go down into a well, you want to be sure as to who 
is holding the rope. 

Reviewing his Vicksburg campaign in after years, 
Grant said : 

" Some of our generals failed because they worked out everything 
by rule. They knew what Frederick did at one place, and Napoleon 
at another. They were always thinking about what Napoleon would 
do. Unfortunately for their plans, the rebels would be thinking 
about something else. I don't underrate the value of military knowl- 
edge, but if men make war in slavish observances of rules, they will 
fail. No rules will apply to conditions of war as different as those 
which exist in Europe and America. Consequently, while our 
generals were working out problems of an ideal character, problems 
that would have looked well on a blackboard, practical facts were 
neglected. To that extent I consider remembrances of old campaigns 
a disadvantage. Even Napoleon showed that, for my impression is 
that his first success came because he made war in his own way, and 
not in imitation of others. War is progressive, because all the instru- 
ments and elements of war are progressive. I do not believe in luck 

1863] Incidents of the Siege of Vicksburg. 1 89 

in war any more than luck in business. Luck is a small matter, may 
affect a battle or a movement, but not a campaign or a career. . . . 
War has responsibilities that are either fatal to a commander's 
position or very successful. I often go over our war campaigns and 
criticise what 1 did, and see where 1 made mistakes. Information 
now and then coming to light for the first time shows me frequently 
where I could have done better. I don't think there is any one of 
my campaigns with which I have not some fault to find, and which, as 
T see now, I could not have improved, except perhaps Vicksburg. To 
take Vicksburg according to the rules of war as laid down in the books, 
would have involved a new campaign, a withdrawal of my forces to 
Memphis, and the opening of a new line of attack. The North 
needed a victory. We had been unfortunate in Virginia, and we had 
not gained our success at Gettysburg. Such a withdral as would have 
been necessary — say to Memphis, would have had ail the effects, in the 
North, of a defeat. This was an ever-present consideration with me ; 
for, although I took no open part in politics, and was supposed to be 
as much of a Democrat as a Republican, I felt that the Union de- 
pended upon the Administration, and the Administration upon the 

The old controversy between Halleck and Grant 
was revived after Vicksburg. It had its origin 
partly in differences in temperament, and partly in 
differences of position. Halleck had practised as a 
lawyer, and perhaps he had acquired something of 
the lawyer's chronic disposition to " get an exten- 
sion " ; and then he was in Washington, where polit- 
ical and personal considerations were influential. 
Besides, he must wait until he could conduct a cam- 
paign according to the rules of war, and the oppor- 
tunity never came. Grant, who was for immediate 
action, now proposed to strike at once for Mobile, 
capture that place, ascend the river extending from 
it north into the heart of Alabama, and thus open 
connection with the chain of posts stretching across 

190 Ulysses S. Grant use 2 

Tennessee to the northern limits of Alabama. This 
would have again divided the Confederacy, and 
practically limited the war to Virginia, Georgia, and 
the Carolinas. 

This plan was entirely feasible, and its success 
would probably have soon ended the war. But 
Halleck always trembled before the grand opera- 
tions of war involving risks, and, instead of embark- 
ing upon great ventures, preferred to paddle in the 
safer waters of secondary operations. Instead of 
keeping together the grand Army of Vicksburg, he 
ordered it scattered. One corps, the Thirteenth, was 
sent to Natchez to co-operate with Banks in his dis- 
astrous Red River campaign, organised for the pur- 
pose of securing a foothold in Texas, and incidentally 
opening the cotton regions of Louisiana. The pur- 
pose of this expedition was diplomatic rather than 
military, and Grant advised against it. Maximilian 
was endeavouring to secure a foothold in Mexico, 
with the aid of Napoleon III., and Confederate 
agents were making a desperate effort abroad to 
secure the interference of foreign governments on 
behalf of the South. It was thought that the pos- 
session, or partial possession, of Texas would thwart 
these movements. But Grant reasoned that if you 
strike at the heart you paralyse the limbs, and that 
secondary successes were valueless so long as the 
heart of the Rebellion was not pierced. 

Another call was made upon Grant to succour 
Rosecrans at Chattanooga, and he was compelled to 
send to him all of his available forces remaining. 
These several drafts on the Army of the Mississippi 

1863] Misfortune Follows Victory. 191 

reduced its activities to the suppression of guerilla 
bands in Mississippi and the adjacent borders. With 
the breaking-up of the Confederate armies at Vicks- 
burg and Port Hudson, thousands of deserters and 
paroled prisoners had organised under two or three 
notable leaders, and were ravaging the country. 

Once more the sun of Grant's prosperity was des- 
tined to a temporary eclipse. He was stripped of 
his troops, and physical infirmity for a time pre- 
vented him from assuming command of another 
department that offered opportunity for more active 
service. At the end of August, 1863, he visited 
New Orleans to confer with Banks, in obedience to 
orders he had received to co-operate with him in his 
movement beyond the Mississippi. While in the 
Creole city, he was offered the honour of a review by 
the Thirteenth Corps, which had just left his com- 
mand. During the review he was thrown by his 
vicious horse shying at a locomotive, and was picked 
up in a condition of insensibility. Three ribs were 
broken, one side was paralysed, and he suffered ex- 
cruciating pain. His brain was so affected by the 
concussion that it was for a time supposed that he 
could never again assume command. It was in- 
tended to assign him to the command of the troops 
moving in Tennessee toward northwestern Georgia, 
but the movement could not be delayed ; and during 
his severe illness of over one month the command 
fell to Rosecrans. 

Again Halleck was in a fever of impatience be- 
cause he could not hear from Grant, ignorant of the 
fact that communication was interrupted by the 

192 Ulysses S. Grant. [1862- 

carelessness or indifference of his own employees. 
Grant had established prompt communication be- 
tween Memphis and New Orleans, and received 
within a day, from Memphis, despatches that had 
been from six to eleven days on their way from 
Washington to that city. In spite of his illness, 
there was no delay in action when the orders reached 

Meanwhile Rosecrans was overthrown at Chicka- 
mauga, September 20, 1863, and the calls for Grant 
grew more urgent. While still lying helpless on his 
bed at New Orleans, unable even to turn himself, 
he received two telegrams urging him to hasten all 
available forces to the succour of the Army of the 
Cumberland. Helpless as he was, he resolved upon 
immediate action. He sent for a litter, and was 
carried on it to a steamer brought down the river as 
near as possible to the hotel. He was barely able 
to reach Vicksburg, and was then placed on his bed, 
unable to rise from it without assistance. 

The situation of Rosecrans after Chickamauga was 
indeed alarming; for in one of the most destructive 
battles of the war he had lost the field, and his 
effective force had been reduced nearly one third. 
Re-enforcements were hastening to him from the 
East ; and Grant was appealed to, to help him from 
the West. On October 3, 1863, a despatch was sent 
to Grant at Vicksburg, saying: 

" It is the wish of the Secretary of War that as soon as General 
Grant is able to take the field, he will come to Cairo and report by 


Misfortune Follows Victory. 


Lame as he was, Grant started without delay, 
and from Columbus, on October 16th, reported by 
telegraph : 

M Your despatch from Cairo of the 3d directing me to report from 
Cairo, was received at 11.30 on the 10th. Left the same day with 
staff and headquarters, and am here en route for Cairo." 



AUGUST, 1863-1 FULL FARY, 1864. 

i RANT learned at Cairo that he was to 
have command of the Military Divis- 
ion of the Mississippi, controlling 

all the armies operating between the 

great river and the Alleghanies. 

1 he Arm}- of the Cumberland, under Rosecrans, was 
the centre o( a grand military cordon, of which the 
Army of the Totomac formed the left wing, and the 
Army of the Mississippi, until now commanded by 
mt, the light wing. To prevent the enemy from 
concentrating against one of these wings, all must 
act together. That was Grant's policy, and the pol- 
he intended to pursue, now that fortune had 
given him control. 

Rosecrans's campaign from Murfreesboro to Talla- 
homa, Tennessee, had by the end of June restored 
middle Tennessee to the National troops, and he 
had driven the enemy south of the Tennessee River. 
The Confederate forces under Bragg were concen- 


1863-64] Relief of Rosecra ns. 1 9 5 

trated at Chattanooga, Tennessee, " the gateway of 
the Cumberland Mountains." In Bragg's rear were 
his depots of supplies, and by interior lines of rail- 
road he was in touch with the other Confederate 
armies. In front of him were numerous spurs and 
ridges of the Cumberland Mountains, and a broad 
river, the Tennessee, protecting him from the ad- 
vance of Rosecrans, whose assault must be con- 
ducted far from his base. 

The Confederates abandoned Chattanooga, August 
8, 1863, and were supposed to have retreated south, 
until one of Sheridan's scouts returned from within 
the enemy's lines, bringing a report that Longstreet 
from Lee's army was to join forces with Bragg, and 
that Bragg was so to manoeuvre as to draw out 
Rosecrans and defeat him in detail. This news com- 
pelled the re-formation of Rosecrans's lines, which 
were too far advanced for security. On August 17th 
Bragg endeavoured to turn Rosecrans's flank and 
envelop his right, but he was driven back after 
sharp fighting. On the 1 8th, Rosecrans continued 
a movement for strengthening his left which he had 
previously begun. It was, as Sheridan tells us, 

made by the flank, in the face of an exultant foe 
superior in number, and was a violation of the sim- 
ple and fundamental military principle." Nothing 
but imperative necessity justified it. 

Grant had been anxious to have Rosecrans co- 
operate with him during the Vicksburg campaign by 
a vigorous attack to prevent Bragg from sending re- 
enforcements to the Mississippi; but Rosecrans 
remained idle during the whole of that time, and 

196 Ulysses S. Grant. H863- 

when he moved, he did so only in obedience to 
peremptory orders from Washington. By a brilliant 
strategic movement he secured possession of Chatta- 
nooga on September 19, 1863; and the battle of 
Chickamauga followed on September 20th and 21st, 
when Rosecrans's army was defeated, and he was 
only saved from destruction by the ability and stub- 
born determination of General George II . Thomas, 
whose conduct on that field secured for him the title 
of ' The Rock of Chickamauga." Two weeks after 
Chickamauga, Rosecrans was re-enforced by the 
arrival of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, sent from 
the Army of the Potomac under the command of 
General Hooker. By a remarkable feat of railroad 
transportation, these 20,000 men, with their guns, 
munitions of war, and other equipments, had been 
transferred from Virginia to Rosecrans's army in 

Tennessee in eight days. 

Though Rosecrans retained possession of Chatta- 
nooga, the Confederates had cut him off from the 
Tennessee River, his natural line of communication 
with his base, and had 50 hemmed him in that his 
army was gradually being reduced to starvation. His 
supplies had to be hauled for forty miles from 
Bridgeport, Alabama, — the terminus of the railroad 
running south from Nashville, — over a road lying 
back from the river; and this road was constantly 
raided by Confederate cavalry under the enterprising 
General Wheeler. Over 12,000 mules had been 
killed in transporting supplies. The distance was 
sixty miles, twenty-five miles of it through unfath- 
omable mud, and across a mountain ridge where a 

1864] Relief of Rosecra ns. 197 

misstep would precipitate a team over a frightful 
precipice. A thousand pounds was an unusual load 
for a waggon drawn by six half-starved and jaded 

Rosecrans's neglect to hold Lookout Mountain 
when he occupied Chattanooga transferred this 
strong position to Bragg, who succeeded in enclos- 
ing his enemy on his front and on both flanks. 
This was the situation when Grant, who had been 
promoted to Major-General in the Regular Army as 
a reward for Vicksburg, arrived at Chattanooga. He 
reached Cairo on October 16th, and there received 
telegraphic orders to proceed to Louisville for in- 
structions. Within an hour or two after their 
receipt he was on his way. At Indianapolis, Grant 
was joined by the Secretary of War, Stanton, whom 
he here met for the first time. They proceeded 
together to Louisville, where a day was spent in 
conference. The Secretary was greatly troubled by 
despatches from Charles A. Dana, Assistant Secre- 
tary of War, then at Chattanooga, who described 
the situation of Rosecrans's army as desperate, with 
no outlook but starvation or disorderly retreat. 
The soldiers, he reported, were mutinous. On 
October 16th Mr. Dana wrote: " Nothing can pre- 
vent the retreat of the army from this place within 
a fortnight, and with a vast loss of public property 
and possibly of life, except the opening of the 

October 18, 1863, Grant telegraphed from Louis- 
ville to Rosecrans assuming command of the Mili- 
tary Division of Missouri, and to Thomas assigning 

198 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863 

him to the command of the Army of the Cumber- 
land, vice Rosecrans, and ordering him to hold 
Chattanooga at all hazards. To this the stout- 
hearted Thomas replied, " We will hold the town 
until we starve." October 20th, Grant started from 
Louisville for the front, stopping over night at 
Nashville, and telegraphing from there to Burnside, 
who was in command of Knoxville. 

General O. O. Howard, in a paper read before the 
Military Order of the Loyal Legion, of which Grant 
was a member, tells us that when Grant arrived at 
Chattanooga, Hooker sent a spring waggon and an 
officer of his staff to the depot for him, but did not 
go himself. The General was so quiet in his way, 
that subordinate officers did not always realise how 
ready he was on all proper occasions to assert his 
position and his authority. He replied, " If General 
Hooker wishes to see me, he will find me on this 
train." Hooker promptly appeared with offers of 
hospitality, which were declined. General Howard 

14 General Grant and I shared a common wall tent between us. He 
had a humorous expression which I noticed as his eye fell upon a 
liquor flask hanging against the tent wall. 

" ' That flask is not mine,' I quickly said. 'It was left here by an 
officer, to be returned to Chattanooga. I never drink.' 4 Neither do 
I,' was his prompt reply : and his answer was not in sport. He was 
at that time free from every appearance of drinking and I was happy, 
indeed, to find in his clear eye and clear face an unmistakable testi- 
monial against the many falsehoods or exaggerations which envy and 
rivalry had set in motion, especially after the famous battle of Shiloh. 

" The next morning, after a sunrise breakfast, General Rawlins 
lifted his general, then lame and suffering, as if he had been a child, 
into the saddle. The direct route across the Tennessee was held by 

1864] Relief of Rosecrans. 199 

Confederate Bragg ; and the river road by the way of Jasper on our 
side, was exposed to sharp shooters from the other bank, and to Con- 
federate Wheeler's spasmodic raids. 

"Yet almost without escort Grant risked the journey along the 
river, through Jasper, across swollen streams, through deep mud, and 
along roads that were already deemed too wretched and too dangerous 
for the wagon. This route was strewn with the wrecks of Army 
vehicles and dead mules. It would have been an awful journey for a 
well man — a journey of more than forty miles. At times it was ne- 
cessary to take the General from his horse. The soldiers carried him 
in their arms across the roughest places. Yielding to no weakness or 
suffering, he pushed through to Chattanooga reaching General Thomas 
the evening of October 23d. It was this remarkable journey which 
put Grant en rapport with Thomas and Hooker ; gave practicable 
shape to all good existing plans ; and soon changed an army, on the 
very verge of starvation into an active, healthful, well-supplied con- 
quering force." 

During the journey Grant's horse had slipped 
with him on a mountain road, and still further 
injured his bruised limb. When he arrived after 
his hard journey of two days, he was lifted out of 
the saddle like a helpless child. 

An officer of the Army reports that about this 
time he saw on the opposite side of a stream a 
sandy-bearded man on horseback, with a cigar be- 
tween his teeth, who was endeavouring to force his 
unwilling horse to cross the stream on a narrow 
wooden bridge that was slippery with frost. The 
officer warned the stranger not to cross, and, as he 
persisted, he shouted in anger: 

Turn back, you darned fool ! Do you want to 
get ducked or get drowned ? Don't you see that 
the bridge is as slippery as glass ? " 

The stranger, who wore a blue army overcoat, 

200 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863- 

raised his cap, turned around, and galloped away. 
A few hours later this officer's command was 
ordered into line for review by the newly arrived 
commanding officer, who was recognised as the 
stranger at the bridge. At the close of the review 
General Grant sent for the officer, and said, — 

' You are the person who prevented me from 
venturing on the bridge this morning, Colonel 
B , are you not ? ' ' 

Very unwillingly and with much perturbation the 
officer answered, "Yes, sir!" Grant replied, "I 
wish to tell you that I am very much obliged to you. 
You saved me from committing a very silly and 
foolhardy action, and probably also from an un- 
pleasant drenching." 

Among those from whom Grant received excellent 
suggestions, when he arrived at Chattanooga, was 
Rosecrans himself, who met him en route at Steven- 
son on the night of the 21st. '* My only wonder," 
Grant says, ' was that he had not carried them 
out." There was no officer in the Army more 
capable than Rosecrans of forming brilliant concep- 
tions. What was needed was the vigorous will to 
carry them into effect, and this was furnished by the 
arrival of Grant. He took in the situation at a 
glance, and was prepared for immediate action. 

Bragg's line ran from the Tennessee River, on the 
east of Chattanooga, southerly along the impreg- 
nable heights of Missionary Ridge, thence westerly 
across Chattanooga Valley ; terminating in Lookout 
Mountain, whose precipitous cliffs nearly touched 
the Tennessee River west of Chattanooga. At 

1864] Battle of Chattanooga. 201 

Chattanooga the river doubles on itself, forming a 
loop known as Moccason Point. Across Moccason 
Point, in possession of the Union troops, was a road 
running east and west, crossing the river at Brown's 
Ferry, and thence running south through Lookout 
Valley. From Chattanooga down to Bridgeport the 
river was controlled by Confederate sharpshooters. 
Had Bridgeport been in the possession of the Union 
Army, supplies could have been brought there, and 
sent up the river to Chattanooga by boat. 

Chattanooga was surrounded by tumbling ridges 
and serpentine streams, and was situated at one 
angle of a triangle, Cleveland and Dalton occupying 
the other two angles. Railroads connecting these 
three places formed the sides of the triangle. The 
country is broken up in all directions by the East 
and West Chickamauga Creeks, and the more north- 
ern tributaries of the Tennessee ; by Lookout Moun- 
tain, Missionary Ridge, Tunnel Hill, and numerous 
other colossal tumuli; and the railroads running 
through the passes among the hills mark the princi- 
pal routes of communication, especially for large 

The strength of the Confederates' position was in 
their control of the two heights of Missionary Ridge 
and Lookout Mountain; limestone cliffs running a 
little west of south from the Chattanooga River, and 
nearly parallel with it, and enclosing between them 
the Chattanooga Valley. Above Chattanooga, 
North Chickamauga Creek flows into the Tennessee 
River from the north ; and Chickamauga River, a 
stream one hundred and eighty feet wide, coming 

( Vysses 5! Grant. 11863 

m the south, empties into the Tennessee Ki 

- miles r down. At the foot of the western 

sl<»pe ol I. okout Mountain, Lookout Creek Bows 
north-easterly through I. okout Valley, and empt 
into ti • below Chattana Two 

miles farther east is Citii k. 

I* >r the control of this region that a stn 

must be made if the Union Army wen I mtinue 
in p • Chattanooga, The President of the 

visited B i army 
at the time, and, from a I minence commandi 

a view of five diffei tal fed with exulta- 

n Grant's army lying in the valley below. " I 
have them no- li, m just the trap 

I I for them." 

In K mand was an engineer officer, 

. \V. F. Smith, who was in the .Military Academy 

at the same time nd po i on- 

fidence. Smith pr I that Brown's Ferry should 

and that troops should be sent across 

the Tennessee at that point to take p ion of 

I kout Valley; Hooker advancing into the val- 

at the same time east from Bridgeport. Tin's 

n the Tennessee River to Kelly's Ferry, 

six or eight miles west, and that place was con- 
nected with Chattanooga by a good road. From 
Kelly's Ferry to Chattanooga the river ran through 

a chasm known as the " Suck," where the current 
was too strong for the steamboats. 

The pontoons to transport Hooker's force across 
the river were already concentrated at Bridgeport, 
and, after a reconnaissance to satisfy himself as to 


1864J Battle of Chattanooga. 203 

facts, Grant ordered Hooker to move. First secur- 
ing a foothold on the south bank of the Tennessee, 
Hooker was to march up the river to Brown's 
Ferry, while Smith was to march from Chattanooga 
down the right bank of the river to the ferry, and 
there lay a bridge as soon as he could secure a 
position on the stream at that point. 

At three o'clock on the morning of October 27th, 
a portion of Smith's forces, 1800 men under Hazen, 
floated in the darkness of the night, on the swift 
current of the Tennessee, from Chattanooga, in fifty 
boats made of rude boards roughly put together. 
This required them to run the gauntlet of the 
enemy's pickets and batteries for nine miles, follow- 
ing the windings of the stream ; but the movement 
was not discovered, thanks to a light mist and the 
darkness. Even the shrill cry of one soldier who 
had fallen into the river, and must be left to drown, 
did not attract the attention of the enemy to the 

Landing at Brown's Ferry at five in the morn- 
ing, under a harmless fire of small-arms, Hazen 
hastened to secure his footing there. The axemen 
he had taken with him felled trees to protect his 
front with abatis; and under the cover of his ad- 
vance the pontoon bridge was laid by Smith, and 
completed at ten o'clock. Meanwhile, Hooker 
crossed at Bridgeport, October 26th, found his ad- 
vance practically unopposed, and on the 28th he 
entered Lookout Valley at Wauhatchie. On the 
night of October 29, 1863, Longstreet made an 
attack on Hooker's forces under Geary. It failed, 

204 Ulysses S. Gran/. [1863- 

as night attacks usually do; the Union mules taking 
an important part in it by rushing into the enemy's 
lines in their fright, and conveying the impression 
that their wild flight was a desperate cavalry charge. 

The Army of the Cumberland had now joined 
forces at Brown's Ferry with their comrades of the 
Army of the Potomac under Hooker. Grant had 
secured possession of Lookout Valley; and free 
communication was established between Bridgeport 
and Chattanooga, by way of the Tennessee River, 
as far as Kelly's Ferry; thence to Chattanooga over 
a waggon road eight miles long, passing by Brown's 

As a counter-movement, Bragg resolved to send 
Longstreet to attack Burnside at Knoxville, acting 
in this matter under the inspiration of the Confeder- 
ate President. Davis. To prevent this movement, 
which commenced November 4, 1863, Thomas was 
ordered to make an attack on Missionary Ridge, No- 
vember 7th, with a wholly insufficient force. Fortu- 
nately the cool-headed Thomas protested against 
this order, and it was withdrawn. 

To Burnside Grant telegraphed: M Hold on to 
Knoxville! If Longstreet moves his whole force 
along the Little Tennessee, cut his pontoons on the 
stream, even if it sacrifices half the cavalry of the 
Ohio Army." 

Sherman had started from Memphis, October 2, 
1863, to move with the Army of the Tennessee to 
the aid of Grant, four hundred miles by steam, and 
then four hundred miles more across a hostile coun- 
try. On October 27th, as he was sitting on the 

1864] Battle of Chattanooga. 205 

porch of a house in Iuka, he was approached by 
lt a dirty, black-haired individual, with a mixed dress 
and strange demeanour," who looked like a hunter 
or woodsman — anything but a soldier. It was the 
bold Corporal Pike, who had floated down the Ten- 
nessee, under the enemy's fire, bringing this de- 
spatch : 

" Drop all work on Memphis and Charleston Railroad, cross the 
Tennessee and hurry eastward with all possible despatch toward 
Bridgeport, till you meet further orders from me. 

U. S. Grant." 

After overcoming great difficulties from bad roads 
and swollen rivers, Sherman reached Bridgeport on 
November 13th, and rode into Chattanooga on 
November 15, 1863, his troops following hard after. 
He found a cordial welcome. Everything awaited 
his coming. As he says, ' All things had been 
pre-arranged with a foresight that elicited my admira- 
tion. From the hills we looked down on Chatta- 
nooga as on a map, and nothing remained but for me 
to put my troops in a desired position." 

The whole philosophy of the battle was that 
Sherman should get by a dash a position on the ex- 
tremity of Missionary Ridge, from which the enemy 
would be forced to drive him if he wished to secure 
his depot at Chickamauga Station. The other 
movements were to be subsidiary to this, but fate 
ordered it otherwise. Grant found that the valour 
and enthusiasm of the Army of the Cumberland 
were beyond what he expected after their bitter ex- 
periences under Rosecrans. The attack was planned 

206 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863- 

for November 21st; but a furious rainstorm, con- 
tinuing for two days, had made it impossible for 
Sherman to get into position as soon as was in- 
tended. Grant said at this time, "I have never felt 
such restlessness as I have at the fixed and immov- 
able condition of the Army of the Cumberland." 
Fearful that Bragg would withdraw and throw him- 
self at Bumside, he decided to attack at the earliest 
possible moment, without waiting for the complete 
disposition of his forces. 

Deserters who had mistaken the meaning of 
Longstrcet's movement against Burnside, arrived 
with the report that Bragg* S army was falling back, 
leaving nothing on his front but a strong picket line. 
To determine the truth <>f this report, Grant ordered 
a reconnaissance in force by Thomas, who held the 
centre, his lines extending from Chattanooga Creek 
to Citico Creek, in Chattanooga Valley, and had 
strengthened his position by a series of redoubts, 
the most important of these being Fort Wood, 
mounting twenty-two guns. 

An interval of a mile separated the Union and 
Confederate lines; the pickets of the two armies 
would draw water from opposite sides of the same 
stream, and were so near together that when on one 
occasion Grant approached his pickets along the 
river, and the call came, Turn out the guard! — 
Commanding General," the Confederate sentinels 
on the other side took up the cry, and also presented 
arms to him. Friendly exchanges between the out- 
posts were common in all the armies during the 
war; and among the many curious stories told of 

1864] Battle of Chattanooga, 207 

them is one by General Longstreet, who on one oc- 
casion found a Union soldier, sans uniform, sans 
everything, hiding in the bushes in front of his picket 
line. He had swum the river to have a chat with 
the Johnnies; and when Longstreet threatened to 
march him to Richmond as he was, the Confederate 
pickets interposed, and insisted that their honour 
should not be thus impeached. 

The nature of the ground over which Thomas's 
reconnaissance was to be made was such that the 
enemy were able to observe the movements of the 
troops directed by Grant, who had taken his station 
at Fort Wood, with Thomas and other officers. 
Howard, who was present, tells us that Gordon 
Granger deployed in measured and precise move- 
ment one division of the Fourth Corps, and sup- 
ported it by his other two. " This force, extended 
into line, presented a picture not often seen ; the 
bayonets gleamed in the sunlight ; the skirmishers 
sprang forward at proper intervals, and covered the 
entire front, as alert and active as children at play. 
The Fourteenth Corps supported the right, and the 
Eleventh, massed in close order, was ready in full 
view to follow up the left." 

The Confederates stood on their breastworks to 
look at what they took to be review and drill, when, 
to their astonishment, the Union lines advanced 
with rapidity toward Orchard Knob. " Soon the 
enemy's pickets were driven back or taken ; soon 
all those other defences for a mile ahead near the 
Knob were in our hands, but not without blood- 
shed. General Grant, at Fort Wood, kept looking 

208 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863- 

steadily towards the troops engaged and beyond. 
He was slowly smoking a cigar." 

At the close of the movement, Thomas was a mile 
in advance of the position occupied by the enemy in 
the morning. The positions gained were secured 
by a line of intrenchments, facing and parallel to 
Missionary Ridge, with Orchard Knob as a point of 

When the night of November 23d closed down, 
the dispirited troops of Rosecrans could not be 
recognised in the exulting host surrounding Grant. 
In the five days following his arrival at Chattanooga 
the new commander had opened the way to Bridge- 
port, and the troops who had been living on quarter 
rations were, within a week of his appearance, receiv- 
ing full rations. They had been re-clothed and were 
well fed, and hope and encouragement had taken the 
place of despondency. All were filled with the con- 
fidence of coming victory, and every man was re- 
solved to show that Rosecrans's failure was not due 
to any lack of spirit or determination in the troops 
he had commanded. 

That night the last of Sherman's divisions arrived, 
and were placed in position four miles above Chatta- 
nooga, opposite the mouth of the South Chicka- 
mauga. The local saw-mills had been running night 
and day to provide material for rude pontoons, built 
without the knowledge of the enemy, and concealed 
in the mouth of the North Chickamauga, five miles 
up that river. The main body of Sherman's com- 
mand were gathered for a movement across the 
Tennessee at Brown's Ferry. The divisions above 

1864] Battle of Chattanooga. 209 

floated down with the current, thirty men in each 
boat, secured a footing east of the South Chicka- 
mauga, and established a tete dc pant, under the 
protection of which a bridge was laid. Meanwhile 
a pontoon bridge thirteen hundred feet long had 
been thrown across the Tennessee, under the protec- 
tion of forty pieces of artillery. To prevent com- 
munication with the enemy, the local residents were 
kept within doors, a sentinel being placed before 
each house. 

Sherman's whole command was now in a position 
to advance against Missionary Ridge from the left. 
His movement against the enemy's right had been 
assisted by a feint from Howard against his left, 
and had been partially concealed by rain and fog. 
The right and left movements were intended to 
cover the main attack by Thomas to overwhelm the 
enemy's centre. Sherman rapidly advanced to the 
foot-hills, and soon secured two high points on 
Missionary Ridge, before the enemy were aware of 
what he intended. 

On the morning of November 24, 1863, Hooker, 
taking advantage of the obscurity of the day, ad- 
vanced against Lookout Mountain on the enemy's 
left, and by a bold and successful movement, which 
forms part of the romance of war, secured posses- 
sion of its frowning crests, rising abruptly above the 
Tennessee River to the height of twenty-four hun- 
dred feet above the sea-level. The fog that had 
concealed Hooker's movement early in the day 
finally dispersed; and through the lifting haze, his 
comrades, who had watched his advance with strained 

210 Ulysses S. Grant. [1863- 

and eager attention, discovered him in position on 
the rocky ledges in front of the Confederate works. 
Until then they could not tell whether this " Battle 
in the Clouds," of which they had caught but occa- 
sional glimpses through the rifts in the iog, presaged 

victory or defeat. When the curtain rose the scene 

had shifted, and Hooker was discovered in full 

&ion of the enemy's works. With Lookout 

Mountain in his possession, he was able to establish 
nmunication with Chattanooga, Thomas, having 

secured the day before the position which he in- 
tended to occupy in the genera] line, took no part 
in the movement of November 24th. 
That night Grant telegraphed to Washington: 

i he tight to-day : :ahly. Sherman carried the end 

of Missionary Ridge, and his right is now at the tunnel, and his left 
at (hick.un.iuga Creek. I roopi from the Lookout Valley carried the 
point of the mountain, and D intern slope and a point 

high up. Hooker reports two thousand prisoners taken, beside! 
which a small number have fallen into our hands from Missionary 

The President replied: 

" Your despatches as to fighting on Monday and Tuesday are here. 
Well done. Many thanks to all. Remember Burnside." 

Halleck telegraphed: 

" I congratulate you on the success, thus far, of your plans. I fear 
that General Burnside is hard pushed, and that any further delay may 
prove fatal. I know that you will do all in your power to relieve 

During the night of November 24, 1863, Bragg 



18641 Battle of Chattanooga. 2 1 1 

withdrew his troops on Lookout Mountain to con- 
centrate on his right against Sherman at the north 
end of Missionary Ridge, and Hooker the next 
morning advanced across the Lookout Valley to 
take part in the combined movement ordered for 
the 25th. The different wings of Grant's army were 
now in close connection, and his lines had been 
shortened and strengthened ; the left resting on 
Chickamauga Creek, and the right occupying the 
summit of Lookout Mountain. The fog that had 
filled the valleys had cleared away by the morning 
of November 25th, and the day was clear and cold. 
Sherman's maps had led him to suppose that Mis- 
sionary Ridge was a single hill ; but, after reaching 
the position he had aimed for on the 24th, he found 
that a valley separated him from the strong position 
of the enemy which was his objective. He had 
accordingly gone into camp for the night, fortifying 

At daylight on the morning of November 25th, 
Sherman advanced to the attack. Eagerly his 
troops pressed forward, down a hillside, across a 
gorge, and up a slope beyond, where a frowning line 
of breastworks barred further passage. After fight- 
ing for two hours, they secured a position threaten- 
ing both flanks of the enemy, and compelling him 
to strengthen his right at the expense of other 
portions of his line. 

The struggle continued until afternoon, and no 
sound was yet heard from the guns of Thomas. He 
was expected to open the attack along the centre 
early in the day ; but his movements were to be 

2 1 2 Ulysses S. Grant [1863 

timed by those of Hooker, and Hooker's advance 
against the flank of the enemy had been delayed 
four hours by the destruction of bridges in Chatta- 
nooga Valley. Three o'clock passed, and four 
o'clock drew near, before M a white line of musketry 
fire, in front of Orchard Knob, extending farther 
right and left, and on," showed that at last Thomas 
was moving on the centre to relieve Sherman. 

When Thomas did move, he moved, as he always 
did, with great effect. The advance of his men 
was clearly seen by Bragg, who massed his troops 
against him. In spite of difficulties, Thomas's men 
soon gained a foothold on the southerly end of Mis- 
sionary Ridge, and after a desperate struggle, and a 
wonderful display of resolute courage, secured its 
summit. The troops were obliged to climb the 
almost inaccessible heights like goats, and in face 
of a deadly hail of grape, canister, and musket-balls 
such as tries the courage of the most experienced 
veteran, even when the advantages are not, as they 
were here, three to one against him. 

The men had no orders to take the summit of 
Missionary Ridge, but an uncontrollable fury seems 
to have seized them as they advanced ; and they 
pressed forward in a series of rushes, stopping to 
take breath between them. The line was somewhat 
broken by the irregularities of the ground, but the 
movement was made with an irresistible impulse. 

The enemy, though they had the advantage of a 
strong position, seemed to have been thoroughly 
demoralised by the fury of the assault. Sheridan, 
who was in advance, was naturally hugely delighted 

1864] Battle of Chattanooga. 2 1 3 

with the result. He told his men after the fight, 
that they all ought to be court-martialled for exceed- 
ing their orders. There was a twinkle in his eye 
and a tremour in his voice as he added, " If you will 
promise me to hold this position against everything 
that comes, I will say nothing about it." The day 
was cold, and so clear that the officers coming and 
going at Bragg's headquarters, and his columns mov- 
ing against Sherman, could be seen distinctly from 
the elevated position on Cumberland Knob occupied 
by Grant. Speaking of the movement of Thomas 
in his official report, Grant says : 

" These troops moved forward, drove the enemy from the rifle-pits 
at the base of the ridge like bees from a hive, stopped but a moment 
until the whole were in line, and commenced the ascent of the moun- 
tain from right to left, almost simultaneously, following closely the 
retreating enemy without further orders. They encountered a fearful 
volley of grape and canister, from nearly thirty pieces of artillery and 
musketry from well-filled rifle-pits on the summit of the ridge. Not 
a waver, however, was seen in the long line of brave men : their 
progress was steadily onward until the summit was in their possession." 

On the night of November 26, 1863, Grant was 
able to announce complete victory over Bragg. The 
enemy were pursued November 26th and 27th up 
the Chickamauga River as far as Ringgold, Georgia, 
but the pursuit was not continued owing to the 
necessity of following the orders from Washington 
to re-enforce Burnside. Grant, who was in com- 
mand of the advance, ordered Sherman to turn off 
at Greysville, just north of Ringgold, and march to 
the relief of Knoxville. 

The Union loss in the series of attacks at Chatta- 

214 Ulysses S. Grant. 11863- 

nooga from November 23d to 25th inclusive was 
5824. Sheridan lost in his charge on Missionary 
Ridge, in one hour, twenty per cent, of his force of 
6000 men. The loss in some of Grant's regiments 
was over sixty per cent. ; and the Confederate loss 
8684, including 6142 prisoners. They also lost 
forty-two pieces of artillery, and 7000 small-arms. 
This was the greatest capture made in the open field 
up to that time. Sixty thousand men had been 
engaged on the Union side along the front of thir- 
teen miles. The enemy had 45,000 men, and had 
the advantage of holding strongly intrenched posi- 
tions, but their front was too extended for successful 

Grant had thus brought to a logical conclusion 
the remarkable series of operations beginning with 
the occupation of Chattanooga. In hotly contested 
engagements he had succeeded in pushing back the 
Confederate force step by step from their fortified 
lines on the ridges fronting Chattanooga; he had at 
the same time dealt them one of the most stagger- 
ing blows they had yet received. The unfortunate 
battle of Chickamauga prevented the realisation of 
Rosecrans's admirable strategic plan; and his loss of 
Lookout Mountain, when he drew back on Chatta- 
nooga, was a great military misfortune. Cooped up 
in Chattanooga, the essential weakness of that point 
revealed itself; and the confident assertions of the 
Confederate press that the " Yankees" would be 
either " driven out of Tennessee or captured," were 
not altogether extravagant. Rosecrans's men had 
been reduced to one third rations; his horses were 



1864] Battle of Chattanooga. 2 1 5 

either dead, or so crippled by starvation that they 
were unable to draw his artillery into battle ; and the 
artillery were dependent on Sherman's teams after 
he arrived. The Army of the Cumberland held the 
citadel; but the enemy were on the parapets (the 
mountain ridges facing Chattanooga), and only a 
wet ditch (the Tennessee River) was between them. 

Longstreet promptly raised the siege of Knoxville 
after hearing from Chattanooga; and President Lin- 
coln, in an executive recommendation of December 
7, 1863, urged that all loyal people, in view of the 
withdrawal of the insurgents from East Tennessee, 

under circumstances rendering it probable that 
the Union forces cannot hereafter be dislodged in 
that important position," should render thanksgiv- 
ing for " this great advancement of the National 

The Confederate comment on the result was 
shown by the prompt removal of Bragg from his 
command. M The Southern people," wrote the 
RicJunemd Examiner, " never had greater reason to 
be serious and anxious than at this moment." Into 
an enemy's hands had passed the control of that 
great natural arsenal of East Tennessee whence the 
Confederates drew their lead, nitre, and coal, — that 
grand magazine containing their chief supplies of 
corn, and nine tenths of all their bacon. 

In a letter to Grant, dated December 8, 1863, 
President Lincoln said : 

" Understanding that your lodgment at Knoxville and at Chatta- 
nooga is now secure, I wish to tender to you, and all under your 
command, my more than thanks — my profoundest gratitude — for the 

2 1 6 Ulysses S. Grant* [1863 64 

skill, courage, for the perseverance with which \<>u and they, over so 
great difficulty, have effected that important object. ( Sod bless you 
all !" 

Congress tendered its thanks in a joint resolution, 
and directed that a gold medal he given to Grant for 
Vicksburg and Chattanooga ; a dianiond-hilted sword 
at by the citizens of Jo Daviess County, Illi- 
nois; arid envy, jealousy, and detraction u are silenced 

in the universal acclaim that followed the successful 
general. Even Halleck was finally convinced, and 

henceforth yielded to the judgment of Giant without 


After having broken the impediments which 
closed the i i the Mississippi, it is again 

\ the Comte de Paris, "who lias just 
opened the doors of Georgia. The Federal armies 
have at last found the warrior worthy to lead them. 

The bold and skilful manoeuvres which began in the 
valley of Lookout Mountain, and terminated a 
month later near the house whence Bragg and Davis 
had contemplated a Union Army besieged at their 
feet, enhance the glory of the conqueror of Vicks- 
burg. He has proved that his mind, powerful to 
Conceive, firm to execute, is fertile in resources at 
the critical time." 






MARCH, 1864. 

ECEMBER 20, 1863, General Grant 
moved his headquarters to Nashville, 
leaving Thomas in command at Chat- 
tanooga. Seven days later General 
Joseph E. Johnston assumed com- 
mand of the Confederate Army of the Tennessee 
with 43,000 men present for duty. At Nashville, 
Grant busied himself in preparing for a campaign 
against Atlanta, which was to be extended, if suc- 
cessful, to Savannah, or to Mobile if it was found 
that possession of that city could be obtained by an 
assault from the Gulf. When New Orleans fell, in 
April, 1862, the Confederates believed that Mobile 
would be the next point of attack. They did every- 
thing in their power to strengthen that place ; and it 
continued in their possession until August, 1864, 
when it yielded to a spirited attack by the Navy 
under Admiral Farragut. 

The winter of 1863-64 was a very severe one, and 


2 1 8 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

was occupied on both sides chiefly in preparation for 
the campaign of the following spring. Grant was 
icd in strengthening his position and opening 
routes of transportation for his army. Having occa- 
sion to visit Knoxville, Tennessee, early in January, 
[864, he chose a difficult line of travel, because it en- 
abled him to ascertain for himself the possibilities of 
the countr\-, and to determine upon a route for sup- 
plying .1 portion of his army, which was again short of 
supplies. On this journey, by the way of Cumber- 
laud Gap, Barboursville, Big Hill, Richmond, and 

Lexington, he encountered the coldest weather and 
the deepest snow known for a generation ; and he and 

his staff had a bitter experience, being compelled to 

wade through the drifts, driving before them their 

half-fn >/rn h« urses. A p< >rtion of the w ay was danger- 
ous as well as difficult. It was by such attention to 
id, at the expc I convenience and comfort, 

that Grant prospered. By the middle of January, 
railroad communication was established between 

Nashville and Chattanooga, and the Arm}- of the 

Cumberland was no longer dependent upon mule- 
teams, hauling supplies over roads barely passable 
under the best of conditions, and now at their worst. 

Wherever he went during his journey, the hero of 
Vicksburg and Chattanooga was surrounded by 
crowds eager to see the man who had delivered 
them from the grasp of the enemy. He was then 
but forty-one years of age, and, as wisdom is asso- 
ciated with age, attention intended for him was 
directed to his venerable-appearing medical officer. 

Grant was less impressive in appearance than 

1864J Genesis of a Great Soldier. 2 1 9 

many of the leading soldiers who served under him. 
Sheridan was undersized ; but Sherman, Meade, and 
Thomas were large men, as were most of the army 
and corps commanders. Their chief was a man of 
medium height, five feet eight inches, and slim in 
build, weighing at this time but one hundred and 
thirty-five pounds, though in later life he gained in 
weight and dignity of appearance. His frame was 
well-knit and compact ; but he had a slight stoop, 
and his appearance was altogether unmilitary. In 
walking he made no attempt to keep step, his un- 
musical ear being so insensible to rhythm and 
cadence that the most emphatic tunes made no 
impression upon him. 

His brow was straight and square, but his head 
gave no indication of unusual capacity. His full 
beard, cut close, partially concealed a square and 
heavy jaw and straight lips which gave indication 
of his strong will and inflexible purpose. Just above 
his beard, on the right cheek, was a wart. His 
hair, which was worn short, was chestnut-brown 
in colour. His eyes were dark gray, and when his 
purpose was to conceal his thought, they had an in- 
scrutable look, though they could twinkle with 
laughter or melt with tenderness. A front view of 
his face showed that his left eye was a little lower 
than the right. His voice was musical, if his ear 
was not, and his utterance was usually clear and 
distinct. Horace Porter says that his voice " had a 
singular power of penetration, and sentences spoken 
by him in an ordinary tone in camp could be heard 
at a distance that was surprising. When not pressed 

220 Ulysses S. Grant H864 

by any matter of importance he was often slow in 
his movements, but when roused to activity he was 
quick in every motion, and worked with marvellous 

He was a remarkably good listener; and his mind 
was quick, receptive, and retentive. In speech he 
was usually slow, and sometimes embarrassed ; but 
his thought was clearly expressed in well-chosen 
words, and when aroused he was fluent and forcible. 
When he did not thoroughly understand a subject 
discussed, he kept silence. His conclusions, once 
arrived at, were seldom reversed. As Badeau says : 

" The man was a marvel of simplicity, a powerful nature veiled in 
the plainest possible exterior, imposing on all but the acutest judges 
of character, or the constant companions of his unguarded hours. 
Not a sign about him suggested rank, or reputation, or power. 
He discussed the most ordinary themes with apparent interest, and 
turned from them in the same quiet tones, and without a shade of 
difference in his manner, to decisions that involved the fate of armies, 
his own fame, or the life of the republic ; . enunciating 

opinions or declaring plans of the most important character, in the 
plainest words and commonest manner, as if great things and small 
were to him of equal moment ; as if it cost him no more to command 
armies than to direct a farm, to capture cities than to drive a horse." 

Even on occasions of great excitement Grant's 
manner was quiet, and had little of the magnetism 
that inspires the soldier, — a fact which he appreci- 
ated and regretted. His men did not bestow upon 
him the pet nicknames conferred upon other com- 
manders, such as " Uncle Billy " (Sherman), " Pop 
Thomas," " Little Mac " (McClellan), and " Little 
Phil" (Sheridan). 



1864] Genesis of a Great Soldier. 221 

The report of General Grant's success at Chat- 
tanooga reached Washington on the day that the 
Thirty-eighth Congress began its second session. 
Mr. Washburne, the representative from the Galena 
district of Illinois, at once introduced two bills, — one 
" to revive the grade of Lieutenant-General of the 
Army"; the other to provide that a medal be 
struck for General Grant, and that a vote of thanks 
be given to him and the officers of his Army. The 
act restoring the grade of Lieutenant-General was 
passed February 26, 1864, and signed by President 
Lincoln. This grade had been originally created 
for General Washington, and had been thus far held 
by no other officer of the Army. Scott's highest 
rank was that of Brevet Lieutenant-General. It 
was well understood that it had been revived for 
the purpose of honouring Grant, and on March 1, 
1864, the President sent his name to the Senate. 
He was confirmed the next day; was ordered to 
Washington on the 3d ; and on the 9th of March, 
1864, received his commission from the hands of the 

During the debate on the bill reviving the grade 
of Lieutenant-General, Mr. Washburne said : 

" I am not here to speak for General Grant. No man with his 
consent has ever mentioned his name in connection with any position. 
I say what I know to be true when I allege that every promotion he 
has received since he first entered the Service to put down this rebel- 
lion was moved without his knowledge or consent ; and in regard to 
this very matter of lieutenant-general, after the bill was introduced 
and his name mentioned in connection therewith, he wrote me and 
admonished me that he had been highly honored already by the Gov- 
ernment, and did not ask or deserve anything more in the shape of 

222 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

honors or promotion ; and that a success over the enemy was what he 
craved above everything else ; that he only desired to hold such an 
influence over those under his command as to use them to the best 
advantage to secure that end." 

Lieutenant-General Grant arrived at Washington 
on Tuesday. March 8th, accompanied by General 
Rawlins and Colonel Comstock of his staff, and by 
his son. His coming was so unostentatious that it 
was some time before his presence in the city was 
known. Then the modest soldier was subjected to 
what for him was the most trying of ordeals, that 
of public recognition. Cheers and serenades met 
him everywhere, and calls for the universal Ameri- 
can Speech. While he was taking his ease in his 
own inn, some enthusiastic member of Congress 
spoiled Grant's breakfast by calling attention to his 
presence, and compelling him to bear the ordeal of 
cheers and congratulations. 

The commission of Lieutenant-General was pre- 
sented at the White House in the presence of the 
entire Cabinet, the party accompanying General 
Grant, and a few others. The President thus ad- 
dressed the General : 

"Gfnkral Grant : The nation's appreciation of what you have 
done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to be done in the 
existing great struggle, are now presented with this commission con- 
stituting you Lieutenant-General in the Army of the United States. 
With this high honor devolves upon you also a corresponding respon- 
sibility. As the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will 
sustain you. I scarcely need to add that with what I here speak for 
the nation goes my own hearty personal concurrence." 

To which General Grant replied : 

1864] Genesis of a Great Soldier. 223 

r J l Mr. President : I accept the commission with gratitude for the 
high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have 
fought on so many fields for our common country, it will be my earnest 
endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight 
of the responsibilities now devolving upon me, and I know that if they 
are met, it will be due to those armies ; and above all to the favor of 
that Providence which leads both nations and men." 

The Lieutenant-General was then introduced to 
the Cabinet, and some time was spent in conversa- 
tion. The bill under which he was appointed pro- 
vided for " a commander of the Army, to be selected 
during the war, from among those officers in the 
military service of the United States, not below the 
grade of major-general, most distinguished for cour- 
age, skill, and ability ; and who being commissioned 
as lieutenant-general, shall be authorized, under the 
direction of the President, to command the armies 
of the United States." The control of military 
affairs now dropped finally from Lincoln's wearied 
hands into the strong hands of the Lieutenant- 
General, and he was left to form his plans without 
suggestion from the President or from his Secretary. 

Grant had met President Lincoln for the first 
time at a reception at the White House on the 
evening of March 8th, where crowds had gathered 
in expectation of seeing the famous soldier. Lin- 
coln's biographers tell us, that, after some con- 
versation with Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward, Grant 
went " to the East Room, where his presence ex- 
cited a feeling which burst the bonds of etiquette, 
and cheer after cheer rose from the assembled crowd. 
Hot and blushing with embarrassment, he was forced 
to mount a sofa, from which he could shake hands 

224 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

with the eager admirers who rushed upon him from 
all sides of the great room." In response to the 
President's announcement that he should deliver 
the commission the next day, " the General had 

hurriedly and almost illegibly written his speech on 

a half-sheet of note-paper In pencil. His embar- 
rassment was evident in extreme." equal to that in 
which Washington delivered his inaugural addre< 
A soon .1- Grant learned that he was to be made 
i tenant-General, he wrote a private letter to 
Sherman from Nashville, Tennessee, March 4, 1864, 
5a) In : : 

\K Sin The bill reviving th< f lieutenant - 

in the ar name has Wen mil to the 

[DOW I Q immediately , in person, 

: of confirmation. 

:t in the mornil .ply with the order, hut I shall 

distinctly <>n my I thai] intmenl 

h w ill require me to makfl that o.ty my headquarters I his, 


While I hi linentlv ful in this war, in at 1< 

getting the confi no one feels more than I how 

much of this success is due t<> t: 1 skill of tOOM whom it 

id fortune I occupying subordinate positions 

under me. 

Tl.' remarks are applicable to a 

iter or less degree, projxjrtionate to their ability iers ; hut 

what I want my thanks t 1 Mcl'hers.m, as the 

men to whom, above ail others, I feel indebted f r whatev< r 1 have 

had i : li ar advice aid IUgg< i of 

U know. How far your execution of whatever 1 
give- do entitles you to the reward I am receiving, you cannot 

know ai well a- I d '. I feel all the gratitude this letter would ex- 
press ; giving it the most flattering construction. 

The word^vw I use in the plural, intending it for McPherson also. 

1864] Genesis of a Great Soldier. 225 

I should write to him, and will some day, but, starting in the morn- 
ing, I do not know that I will find time just now. Your friend, 

U. S. Grant, Major-General. 

Sherman, in a reply dated Memphis, March 10, 
1864, and marked " private and confidential," said: 

" You do yourself injustice and us too much honor in assigning to 
us so large a share of the merits which have led to your high advance- 
ment. I know you approve the friendship I have ever professed to 
you, and will permit me to continue as heretofore to manifest it on 
all proper occasions. 

"You are now Washington's legitimate successor, and occupy a 
position of almost dangerous elevation ; but if you continue as here- 
tofore to be yourself, simple, honest, and unpretending, you will 
enjoy through life the respect and love of friends, and the homage of 
millions of human beings who will award to you a large share for 
securing to them and their descendants a government of law and 

11 I repeat, you do General McPherson and myself too much honor. 
At Belmont you manifested your traits, neither of us being near ; at 
Donelson also you illustrated your whole character. I was not near, 
and General McFherson in too subordinate a capacity to influence 
you. Until you had won Donelson, I confess 1 was almost cowed by 
the terrible array of anarchical elements that presented themselves at 
every point ; but that victory admitted the ray of light which I have 
followed ever since. 

" I believe you are as brave, patriotic, and just as the great prototype 
Washington ; as unselfish, kind-hearted, and honest, as a man should 
be ; but the chief characteristic in your nature is the simple faith in 
success you have always manifested, which I can liken to nothing 
else than the faith a Christian has in his Saviour. The faith gave 
you victory at Shiloh and Vicksburg. Also, when you have com- 
pleted your best preparations, you go into battle without hesitation, 
as at Chattanooga — no doubts, no reserves ; and I tell you that it was 
this that made us act with confidence. I knew wherever I was that 
you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come — if 
alive. My only points of doubt were as to your knowledge of grand 
strategy, and of books of science and history ; but I confess your com- 
mon-sense seems to have supplied all this." 

226 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

Badeau, who was present, reports that when 
Sherman met Grant again, at Nashville, on March 
17th, that officer said in his usual abrupt manner: 

I cannot congratulate you on your promotion; 
the responsibility is too great." The other was silent 
and smoked his cigar. Sherman was urgent that 
Grant should remain at the West, saving: 

" Here you are at home; you are acquainted with y«>ur ground; 

you have tested your Bubordinates ; you know us, and we know you . 

here you are sure of success ; here, too, you will be un trammeled ; at 

the East yon must begin new campaigns in an unfamiliar field, with 

m and officers whom you have not tried, u hom you have never led 

to victory. They cannot feci towardl you as we do. Near Washing- 
ton, besides, you will l>e beset, and, it may be, fettered by scheming 
politician! ; stay hen, where you have made your fame, and use the 
same means to consolidate it." 

The generous disinterestedness of this advice is 
shown by the fact that Grant's withdrawal to Wash- 
ington would put Sherman in control at the West. 

The development of Grant into the dimensions of 
real commander had been progressive, and there 
were no steps backward. Through victory and 
defeat alike he advanced in knowledge, in self- 
confidence, and in the mastery of the conditions of 
war. Mis early experience as a soldier had taught 
him useful lessons; but it had given him no undue 
confidence, nor was he hampered by the worship of 
precedents and the exaggerated respect for mere 
theories of war that paralysed others who had won 
the confidence of the country and of the authorities 
while he was still an obscure volunteer. His expe- 
rience in the Army as a quartermaster had taught 

1864] Genesis of a Great Soldier. 227 

him the importance of looking after the means of 
transportation and supply for troops: and that mem- 
orable ride at Monterey had burnt into his memory, 
as no mere routine experience could have done, a 
knowledge of the necessity for keeping fighting men 
constantly supplied with ammunition. If he did not 
rank so high as some others as a student of the art 
of war as written, Grant was a close student of 
events. In his first movement against the enemy, 
as an officer of volunteers, he felt great concern ; but 
the discovery that the Confederate commander, 
more frightened than he was, had left the field 
before he arrived, taught him a lesson he never 

From that event to the close of the war," he 
tells us, "I never experienced trepidation upon 
confronting an enemy. I never forgot that he had 
as much reason to fear my forces as I had his. The 
lesson was valuable." 

Yet Grant was by no means ignorant of the his- 
torical records of war. Indeed, " in addition to his 
great common sense, he knew the lessons of war as 
completely as any general that ever lived." John 
Russell Young, who says this, illustrates it by a con- 
versation he had with him during his voyage around 
the world. 

11 Walking up and down the deck, Grant went on to describe all of 
Napoleon's campaigns, from Marengo down to Leipsic, speaking of 
each battle in the most minute manner — the number of men engaged 
on either side, even the range of their guns and the tactics of both 
sides ; why victory came and why defeat came — as thoroughly learned 
as a problem in mathematics. Then back to the battles of Frederick 

228 Ulysses S. Grant, [1864 

the Great ; Leuthen ; the campaigns of the Thirty Years' War ; back 
to the campaigns of Caesar, and always illustrating as he talked the 
progress and change in the art of war, and how machinery, projec- 
tiles, and improvements in arms had made what would be a great 
victory for Napoleon almost impossible now. It simply meant this, 
that General Grant, with his marvellous memory, had not forgotten 
his West Point education. It is the only occasion on which I ever 
heard Grant speak of the art of war, because it was a subject to which 
he had an aversion. You might have known him for a year and never 
learned that he had fought a battle in his life." 

Not only did General Grant remember his West 
Point education, but he had read much ; and during 
the course of his garrison life in the Army, when he 
read everything that came to hand, even such ab- 
struse works as those of Emanuel Swedenborg, he 
no doubt found opportunity to extend his know- 
ledge of military literature beyond the recollections 
of his studies at the Military Academy. 

At Paducah and Belmont, at Henry and Donel- 
son, he had learned how great is the moral power of 
the initiative. Shiloh had convinced him, as well 
as it had convinced the enemy, that neither section 
could claim advantage in the superior pluck and 
prowess of the individual soldier; it had further 
taught the useful lesson of the value of field fortifi- 
cations. At Holly Springs, where he was deprived 
of all communication with the North for more than 
a week, he had discovered how possible it was to 
disregard the usual means of communication, and 
feed upon the enemy's country. 

Favouritism and prejudice are powerful factors 
with military men in determining professional repu- 
tations. It is difficult for a graduate of the Military 

1 8 6 4 J Genesis of a Great Soldier. 229 

Academy to outlive the judgment passed upon him 
by his fellow-students there, however undiscriminat- 
ing it may have been. It is still more difficult to 
overcome the harsh garrison determinations as to 
character and capacity, due oftentimes to incidents 
that are wholly inconclusive as to a soldier's actual 
quality. It was Grant's misfortune — or shall we 
not rather say, in the light of the result, that it was 
his extreme good fortune — to have incurred the dis- 
trust of officers of the old Army under whom it was 
his lot to serve when he re-entered the Army, and 
especially the hostility of Halleck. If this subjected 
him to sore humiliation and mortification, it also 
impressed upon him those lessons of patience, sub- 
ordination, and self-abnegation, to which he was by 
nature most responsive. His trying experiences as 
an officer served as a check upon a too rapid ad- 
vance, which might have subjected him to those 
perils of undue exaltation which wrecked so many 
promising military reputations. 

Thus step by step, with steady progress, Grant 
advanced to the full height of his career, as the 
country gradually awakened to the realisation of 
the fact that they had in this modest soldier from 
Illinois a man who could be depended upon to do 
his duty to the fullest extremity, undisturbed by 
good or evil fortune, accepting both alike as the 
will of that Higher Power who sits in judgment on 
the purposes of men, and chooses His own instru- 
ments in His own time, without regard to the decis- 
ions of cabinets and councils. 

The fortune of war had sifted from among the 

230 Ulysses S. Grant H864 

officers high in rank those whose ability, experience, 

and disinterested devotion to duty, justified the 
fullest measure of confidence; and chief among 
these Congress and the President had rightly placed 
Ulysses Simpson Grant. While others were calling 
upon Hercules, Grant from the first put his shoulder 
squarely to the wheel. While other men demanded 
more of the troops and supplies needed by every 
army beyond the possibility of the Government to 
furnish, he was doing the best he could with what 
he had, and insisting that he could, if left to him- 
self, do still more. lie never made his failure to 
obtain all that he wanted, or what he needed, .111 
excuse for inaction or delay; nor did he seek to 
throw upon the sorely harassed and perplexed civil 
authorities at Washington the responsibility for his 
own shortcomings. His correspondence with the 
Government will be searched in vain for the evi- 
dence that appears in the despatches of some general 
officers, of a desire to burden the records with proofs 
that others were responsible for their failures or 
partial successes. 

Nicolay and Hay. who knew the mind of Lincoln, 

" Grant's usefulness and superiority were evinced by the clear- 
ness and brevity of his correspondence, the correctness of routine 
reports and promptness of their transmission, the pertinence and 
practical quality of his suggestions, the readiness and fertility of ex- 
pedient with which he executed orders. Any one reading over his 
letters of this first period of his military service is struck by the fact 
that through him something was always accomplished. There was 
absence of excuse, complaint, or delay ; always the report of a task 
performed. If his means or supplies were imperfect, he found or im- 




7S its «© 

' » 1 ■ » ' 




864] Genesis of a Great Soldier. 231 

>rovised the best available substitute. If he could not execute the 
nil requirement, he performed so much of it as was possible. He 
ilways had an opinion, and that opinion was positive, intelligible, 
>ractical. We find therefore that his allotted tasks from the first con- 
inually rose in importance. He gained in authority and usefulness 
lot by solicitation or intrigue but by services rendered." 

After the battle of Shiloh, President Lincoln was 
warned by devoted friends that his own fortunes 
depended upon his rejection of Grant. His only 
answer was : 

I can't spare this man; he fights." 

Generals," said Napoleon, " are rarely found 
eager to give battle ; they choose their positions, 
consider their combinations, and their indecision 
begins. Nothing is so difficult as to decide." 

To the question as to Grant's generalship, " Is he 
going to be the man ? ' the President replied with 
great emphasis of tone and gesture : 

" Grant is the first General I have had. You know how it has been 
with all the rest. As soon as I put a man in command of the Army, 
he 'd come to me with a plan of campaign and about as much as to say, 
1 Now, I don't believe I can do it, but if you say so, I '11 try it on, ' and 
so put the responsibility of success or failure on me. They all wanted 
me to be the General. Now, it isn't so with Grant. He has n't told me 
what his plans are. I don't know and I don't want to know. I am 
glad to find a man that can go ahead without me. When any of the 
rest set out on a campaign, they would look over matters and pick 
out some one thing they were short of and they knew I could n't give 
'em and tell me they could n't hope to win unless they had it ; and it 
was most generally cavalry. Now, when Grant took hold, I was 
waiting to see what his pet impossibility would be, and I reckoned 
it would be cavalry, of course, for we had n't horses enough to mount 
what men we had. There were fifteen thousand or thereabouts up 
near Harper's Ferry and no horses to put them on. Well, the other 

232 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

day, Grant sends to me about those very men just as I expected ; but 
what he wanted to know was, whether ho ouild make infantry of 
them or disband Vm. He d06tH*l ask impossibilities of me and he's 
.st general I have had that did n't." 

To this testimony, reported by Mural Halstead, 
Frank B. Carpenter, the artist, adds, that Mr. Lin- 
coln once said to him of Grant, " The great thing 
about him is his cool persistency of purpose. He 
is not easily excited, and has the grip of a bull-dog. 
When he once gets his teeth in, nothing will shake 
him off. *' 

The .kIwi'm- criticisms upon General Grant as a 
soldier by his contemporaries were largely the off- 
spring of ignorance, jealousy, <>r malice, — ignorance 

of war itself, or of tin- conditions under which war 
must be waged in a country <>f vast distances and 
impassable roads ; jealousy prompted by the ill 

success <»f those who were considered by themselves 

and by their friends more worthy than he; malice 

ulting from the inevitable antagonisms of military 

life, and due to its necessarily arbitrary action, its 
prompt and oftentimes harsh judgments. 

Grant triumphed in spite of " the cliques and the 
underground intrigues of craving selfishness and 
unsatisfied ambitions," of the disturbing questions 
of seniority between officers of high rank, and of 
the disposition of the newspaper press not only to em- 
barrass him with criticism, but also to deprive him of 
the advantages of the secrecy which is so essential 
to the success of military plans; in short, as a sol- 
dier, he met all the conditions of his time, and rose 
superior to them. It was not ** luck," it was energy, 

1864] Genesis of a Great Soldier. 233 

zeal, and singleness of purpose, directed by excep- 
tional military capacity, that explain his success. 

What are the " rules of war " that General Grant 
violated ? They originate in the brains of civilian 
critics like Macaulay ; for the best military authori- 
ties are agreed that it is impossible to formulate a 
code which can be so distinguished. The best gen- 
erals are those who know when to disregard all rules. 
(" La critique est facile, r art est difficile".} The 
study of great campaigns may train the intelligence 
of the soldier, but it cannot guide his action on the 
field of battle into set forms. Caesar's biographer 
tells us that he was " no deep calculator; his habit 
was to act for the immediate exigency." 
/General Grant not only conquered his enemy in 
the field, but he succeeded in so conquering the 
Administration at Washington as to make it the 
obedient servant of his will ; if not wholly, at least 
to a greater extent than any commander who pre- 
ceded him. iHe won its confidence because he 
showed the highest qualities of a general in his quick 
perception of the conditions of the military prob- 
lem ; not as it existed in Europe, not as it was in 
the time of Caesar, or Hannibal, or Napoleon, but 
as it was right before him, on the Mississippi and 
the James, in Missouri, in Kentucky, in Tennessee 
and Virginia. He occupied himself less than others 
with the question as to how armies should be organ- 
ised according to accepted maxims, but better than 
others he understood from the outset the art of 
making the most effective use of the material the 
American volunteer soldier offers to the commander. 

234 Ulysses S. Grant, [1864 

Students of war criticised him, and doubtless will 
always criticise him ; but they should not iorget 
that if his method did not conform in every respect 
to their standards, it was always directed by a 
clearly defined purpose in his own mind as to the 
best way to accomplish the immediate object. In 
the face of storms of criticism he adhered to his 
purpose with a tenacity characteristic of the man, 
until results had vindicated the soundness of his 

Rejecting at the beginning of his career the theo- 
ries that hampered others, and that were only 
adapted to encounters between armies thoroughly 
organised and trained, Grant understood the import- 
ance of action, and continued action, to transform 
raw troops into veterans. Less fortunate than his 
critics, he was not able to review his plans in the 
light of accomplished facts; and in " the fog of 
war ' were hidden from him circumstances that 
might have modified his action, or induced a change 
of programme. If he made mistakes, he showed 
how successive defeats, miscarriages, and disasters 
might be made the stepping-stones to final victory. 
The siege of Vicksburg, which brought clearly to 
view his characteristic tenacity, will challenge the 
admiration of men as a military feat, with Ciudad 
Rodriguez and Badajos, so long as history is read. 
It was clearly Grant's own work; and his complete 
success at Grand Gulf, when for the first time he 
was able to carry his methods to their final conclu- 
sion without interference from higher authority, 
throws a flood of light upon his previous career. 

1864] Genesis of a Great Soldier, 235 

Grand Gulf was a brilliant military conception, — one 
of those audacities of genius, which, like Macdon- 
ald's crossing the Splugen, transcends all rules of 
military art. 

The appointment of Grant to the office of General- 
in-Chief was designed to give to our armies the 
unity of direction essential to success, and hereto- 
fore lacking. The official reports of that period 
show how lamentably incoherent had been the exer- 
cise of the central military power. Operations were 
now under the control of the President and then of 
General Halleck; at one time directed by the Secre- 
tary of War, and at another time by the General in 
the field. It was intended to put an end to this 
confusion by the selection of an officer to whom 
should be intrusted the supreme control, and who 
should really " command the armies of the United 

Grant's extensive experience in the field had 
given him a perfect appreciation of what a general- 
in-chief could do, and what he could not safely 
undertake. It had taught him how far the central 
authority should interfere in distant operations, and 
how much must necessarily be left to the command- 
ers in the field. There was but little opposition to 
his new appointment, and even this opposition was 
due in large measure to a fear lest his duties as 
General-in-Chief might lessen his activity in the 

The order of the Executive was designed to 
reconcile this double desire that Grant should have 
control of all the armies, and that he should be at 

236 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

the same time free for the immediate direction of 

troops so far as he considered this expedient. 

The headquarters of the Army," it provided, 

will be in Washington, and also with Lieutenant- 

General Grant in the field." 

A man of Grant's martial spirit could not be 
confined to a bureau when great operations were on 
foot; again, as at Vicksburg, he resolved to disre- 
gard the advice of his most trusted friend, so far as 
related to his choice of a field of activity. Trans- 
ferring to Sherman the immediate control of the 
principal army in the West, he decided to reserve 
for himself direction of the Army of the Potomac. 
That army, from its proximity to the Capital, was 
the one most subject to civilian interference, and it 
was best that he should meet this danger in person. 
In assuming command of the forces in Virginia, he 
possessed a supreme advantage over all who had 
preceded him there. To him had been granted a 
power hitherto unknown, except when sovereigns 
had been in the field as commanders. He was 
relieved from the necessity of applying to Washing- 
ton for the control of the troops essential to his 
operations; he had full authority to call to his aid, 
from any part of the country, re-enforcements 
needed for success, where he in person should com- 
mand. Moreover, his promotion to a rank one grade 
beyond that of all others served to elevate him 
above the jealousies, rivalries, and ambitions of 
those holding secondary commands, which had 
been the bane of the Army of the Potomac. To 
these may be traced the failure of more than one 


Genesis of a Great Soldier. 


well-planned operation. It could not well be other- 
wise. Subordinate generals, holding the same rank 
as their chief, and hoping by adroit management to 
come into supreme command, were subject to the 
strongest temptations that assail the soldier. That 
they were not always proof against them the secret 
history of our armies would show. 




MAY 4-7, 1S64. 

|HE movements of the Army of the 
Potomac, and the Southern Army of 
N trthern Virginia, during the two 

trs preceding Grant's promotion 
to the rank of Lieutenant-General, 
had been a series ^i advances and retreats, without 
substantia] gain to either side. McCIellan had ex- 
hausted himself in the attempt to reach Richmond 
by " .v of the Yorktown Peninsula. Pope met his 
Waterloo at the battle of the Second Bull Run; 
Burnside, at Fredericksburg; and Hooker, at Chan- 
cellorsville. Lee, in his turn, had been overthrown 
at Antietam and Gettysburg, when he assumed the 
role of offence, and pushed his advance beyond the 
boundary of his own State. Neither side could 
claim any advantage. Altogether over a quarter 
of a million men had been killed, wounded, or 
yielded themselves prisoners, in the gigantic contest 
for supremacy in Virginia, this loss being nearly 


11864 Battle of the Wilderness, 239 

equally divided between the contending forces. 
The movement of battle had swayed back and forth 
between the capital of Virginia and the capital of 
Pennsylvania ; the high-water mark on the one side 
being Fair Oaks, and on the other Gettysburg. 
Meade alone, of all those who had commanded on 
either side, had no serious reverse to mar his record, 
and to his credit stood the decisive battle of Gettys- 
burg, where the Confederates had suffered a larger 
loss than during any other single engagement of the 
war. He had given proof of his capacity for high 
command, and, if he had not succeeded in satisfy- 
ing Northern craving for the possession of the Con- 
federate Capital, he had shown that he was at all 
times a safe and reliable soldier. 

If, then, there was any man who might reason- 
ably object to the programme decided upon by 
General Grant when he resolved to assume the 
immediate direction of affairs in Virginia, it was 
Major-General George Gordon Meade, who dur- 
ing the preceding ten months had commanded 
the Army of the Potomac. But if Meade was a 
soldier, with a soldier's ambitions and a soldier's 
hopes, he was before all else a patriot who subor- 
dinated personal interest to his desire for the success 
of a great cause. 

A part of the Lieutenant-General's preliminary 
work was to so re-adjust the various commands at 
the East and the West as to relieve as much as pos- 
sible the friction between subordinate commanders 
originating in the previous experiences of ill success. 
There was in the Army of the Potomac a McClel- 

240 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

Ian party and a Hooker party, if not a Burnside 
party, each representing the interests of officers who 
had preceded Meade in command. Rivalries of a 
corresponding nature disturbed the armies of the 
West. Numerous changes were required to estab- 
lish the harmonious conditions essential to efficient 
action. This officer must be sent here, and another 
there, that old associations might be broken up, 
imbittered rivalries forgotten, and the stimulus of 
new ambitions presented to aspiring generals. Or- 
ganisations of cavalry, artillery, and infantry must 
exchange stations between the Mast and the West 
for the same purpose. This difficult and delicate- 
task was completed so quickly and quietly that few 
understood the work in progress. An effort was 
made to restore to active command officers like 
McClellan and Buell, whose abilities were recog- 
nised ; but they were not disposed to serve without 
conditions, as others must do. Meade showed a dif- 
ferent spirit. Says General Grant, in his Memoirs : 

"He evidently thought that I might want to make still one more 
change not yet ordered. He said to me that I might want an officer who 
had served with me in the West, mentioning Sherman especially, to 
take his place. If so he begged me not to hesitate about making the 
change. He urged that the work before us was of such vast import- 
ance to the whole Nation that the feelings or wishes of no one person 
should stand in the way of selecting the right men for all positions. 
For himself he would serve to the best of his ability wherever placed. 
I assured him that I had no thought of substituting any one for him. 
As to Sherman he could not be spared from the West. This incident 
gave me even a more favorable opinion of Meade than did his great 
victory at Gettysburg the July before. It is men who wait to be 
selected and not those who seek, from whom we may always expect 
the most efficient service." 



1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 241 

Sherman assumed command of the Military Di- 
vision of the Mississippi, March 18, 1864, having 
control of all the troops west of the Alleghanies and 
north of Natchez, Mississippi. The force available 
for action under his immediate orders numbered 
about 100,000 men, and the Army of the Potomac 
about the same. West of the Mississippi River was 
Major-General N. P. Banks, who had had control of 
some 30,000 men during the short time he was in 
command before being relieved by General Canby. 
On the James River, in the vicinity of Richmond, 
was the Army of the James, commanded by Major- 
General Benjamin F. Butler, and acting in co- 
operation with the Army of the Potomac. In the 
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia was a force under 
Major-General Sigel, guarding the approaches to 
Washington from that direction. In addition to 
these large commands, there were numerous detach- 
ments holding positions along the southern coast, 
captured from the enemy at different times. The 
outlying garrisons were reduced to the minimum, 
so as to secure all available men for the movement 
against the enemy by the armies under Meade and 

Banks was expected to close up the ill-fated Red 

River campaign south-west of the Mississippi, which 

then occupied his attention, and with 25,000 men 

of his command, and 10,000 more to be sent by 

Sherman, to attempt to capture Mobile, Alabama, 

in co-operation with the Navy. Sherman was to 

advance upon Atlanta, and then to secure control of 

the country between that place and Mobile. The 

242 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

Confederacy had been divided by the loss of the 
Mississippi River. The success of these joint opera- 
tions was expected to bisect the country still under 
Confederate control east of that river. Butler, who 
had 23,000 men available for the field, was ordered 
to operate against Richmond from the south side of 
the James River. 

General Joseph E. Johnston was in command of 
the Confederate troops opposed to Sherman ; and 
Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern 
Virginia, whose veteran soldiers barred the progress 
of the Army of the Potomac in its southward march. 
The main attacks were to be directed against the 
armies of Lee and Johnston; and the commanders 
of minor forces were expected to prevent the re- 
enforcement of these armies by constant activity, 
so as to hold fast the enemy in front of them, if 
they could do no more. Speaking generally, the 
troops which the Confederacy had available for 
defence at the various points of attack, were about 
two thirds as numerous as those of their enemy; 
but this difference was neutralised, and more than 
neutralised, by the advantage that goes with the 
defence. The Confederacy stood on guard to meet 
the mighty assault behind its barriers of impassable 
roads, fordless streams, tangled woods, and abrupt 
hills, thrown out like buttresses to break the force 
of the attack. 

The natural advantages of the defence were thus 
increased by the peculiar character and the wide 
extent of the terrain over which the tide of battle 
had swept back and forth during the three years of 

1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 243 

war. The great mountain system, which runs like a 
wedge into the heart of the Confederacy, has been 
aptly styled " the citadel of a large fortress of 
which the walls are formed by the parallel ridges, 
the ditches by the rapid streams in the valleys, and 
the doors by the gaps." Chattanooga is a natural 
bastion on the salient angle of the great line of the 
Confederate communications. The control of this 
position gave Sherman an advantage in the cen- 
tral zone which the Army of the Potomac did not 

Never in the history of warfare has the character 
of the country exerted more influence on campaigns 
than in the portion of Virginia between Washington 
and Richmond, which was the scene of the mighty 
struggles for mastery between the armies of the 
Union and of the Confederacy. On the right of the 
Army of the Potomac, under Grant's immediate 
direction, were chains of mountains admirably 
adapted for concealing flanking movements; while 
the valley of the numerous rivers carrying the waters 
from the heights south-easterly into Chesapeake Bay, 
afforded the Confederate forces the means for easy 
and uninterrupted passage above Washington, and 
almost entirely protected them from attacks in their 
rear. On the front of Lee's army were a succession 
of rivers presenting great natural obstacles to Grant's 
advance, and affording strong positions for defence. 
To ascend these rivers, for the purpose of turning 
the left flank of the enemy, was to open his rear to 
attacks from Fredericksburg; to cross below Lee's 
army was to leave the railroad connecting his rear 

244 Ulysses S. Gran/. Li 864 

with Washington open to cavalry attacks. The 
country, moreover, was masked in every direction 
by dense forests, rendering anything like a surprise 
in force impracticable. A few rebel scouts might at 
all times easily detect and thwart Mich a movement. 

The Potomac River was under Union control, as 
was also the peninsula lying between the York and 
James Rivers, from Fort Monroe nearly up to Rich- 
mond. This enabled the Army of the Potomac, in 
moving against the Confederate capital, to concen- 
trate its forces behind the screen of the Potomac, 
and advance either from the upper Potomac down 
the Shenandoah Valley; from Washington along 
the Orange Railroad to the Rappahannock River; 
from Acquia Creek on the Potomac, by the Fred- 
ericksburg and Richmond Railroad; up the Penin- 
sula, between the York and James Rivers, adopting 
cither stream as its base; or from the south side of 
the James River by way of Petersburg, Virginia. 
All but one of these lines had been used for advance 
movements previous to the time when Grant took 
command, and the choice between them was open 
to him. But his objective was not Richmond, but 
Lee's army; and his selection of a line of opera- 
tions was determined, not by a desire to draw near 
to the Confederate capital, but to force the Con- 
federate Army to meet him in the open field, and 
to there try the issue of battle. 

To Sherman Grant had written: " You I propose 
to move against Johnston's army, to break it up, 
and to get into the interior of the enemy's country 
as far as you can, inflicting all the damage you can 

1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 245 

against their war resources." In his letter of in- 
struction to Meade, he said : 

" Lee's Army will be your objective point ; wherever Lee goes 
there you will go also. The only point upon which I am now in 
doubt, is whether it will be better to cross the Rapidan above or below 
him. Each plan presents great advantages over the other with cor- 
responding objections ; by crossing above, Lee is cut off from all 
chance of ignoring Richmond and going North on a raid. But if we 
take this route, all we do must be done whilst the rations we start 
with hold out. We separate from Butler so that lie cannot be directed 
how to co-operate. By the other route Brandy Station can be used 
as a base of supplies until another is secured on the York or James 

The final conclusion was that the movement 
should be by the left, against Lee's right flank. At 
this time (April, 1864) the Army of the Potomac 
was in its intrenchments between the Rapidan River 
and the Upper Rappahannock, in the fork formed 
by the junction of those two streams at a point ten 
or twelve miles above the city of Fredericksburg. 
The main body of Meade's infantry was half-way 
between the Union and Confederate capitals, in 
the vicinity of Culpeper Court-House, on the Orange 
and Alexandria Railroad, which connects Washing- 
ton with Lynchburg, Virginia. The cavalry of the 
Army of the Potomac, observing Meade's front, was 
promptly re-organised by Grant, and placed under 
the efficient command of Sheridan, who had grad- 
uated from Grant's old regiment, the 4th United 
States Infantry. 

Lee's army was intrenched on the opposite or 
southern side of the Rapidan, and occupied a front 
of eighteen to twenty miles, from Morton's Ford 

246 Ulysses S. Grant, [1864 

on the east, to Barnett's Ford on the west. Both 
armies were narrowly watching the fords of the 
Rapidan for tokens of hostile movement. Lee's 
headquarters were at Orange Court-House, sixty- 
five miles in the direct line from Richmond, and 
Meade's at Brandy Station, the same distance from 
Washington ; an interval of twenty-five miles sepa- 
rating the two headquarters. On March 26th, 
General Grant had established his headquarters at 
Culpeper Court-House, eight miles nearer to Lee 
than those of General Meade. 

On March 4, 1864, shortly before Grant took 
command, the five corps of the Army of the Poto- 
mac had been consolidated into three corps upon 
the recommendation of Meade. This was a measure 
of doubtful expediency. It destroyed corps tradi- 
tions, wounded professional pride, and gave to the 
several corps commanders a force too large to be 
handled most efficiently in a broken country like 
Virginia. The total force of the three corps was 
73>390 officers and men. To these were added the 
corps of Burnside, brought up from Annapolis to 
guard Meade's communication, and joining the 
Army of the Potomac May 6th, when Meade's 
advance relieved him from the duty of guarding the 

In spite of General Grant's intention to make 
Meade's position as nearly independent as possible, 
the division of responsibility between them was an 
embarrassment to both ; and to some extent it 
diminished the efficiency of the troops over which 
they held what was, in effect, a joint command. 

1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 247 

Routine and courtesy required that orders for the 
movement of the Army of the Potomac should go 
through Meade, and that he should be left to exe- 
cute them ; but orders sometimes passed direct from 
the Lieutenant-General to his troops, and his imme- 
diate presence could not fail to affect Meade's inde- 
pendence of action. There could be no finer body 
of troops in material, discipline, and military spirit, 
than those found in the Army of the Potomac, as at 
first organised ; but the quality of the men compos- 
ing it deteriorated somewhat when bounties took 
the place of patriotic zeal in stimulating enlistments. 

Battle and disease had reduced many of the best 
regiments to battalions, and the companies to 
squads. In the new regiments the discipline of the 
hired soldier had superseded the zeal of the volun- 
teer, and there was less of that cordiality of feeling 
between officer and men which constitutes the 
strength or the weakness of volunteers, according 
to the character of the officer. The bonds of disci- 
pline were strengthened when Grant came. When 
the note of preparation for battle was heard, " the 
enlisted men hurriedly discussed the military cap- 
acity of their new leader. Magazines, illustrated 
papers, and newspapers, which contained accounts 
of his military achievements, were sent for, and were 
eagerly and attentively read. The discussions were 
fruitless but combat-provoking, and frequently the 
wranglers adjourned to a secluded spot outside of 
the camp and fought it out with their fists." 

Later on, when they had served under Grant for 
a few weeks, the general opinion among the enlisted 

248 I Vyssei a. Grani. 11864 

men was: " Given Grant in command of the army 
of 1 ind the Rebellion would have been crushed 

that y* Asked how McClellan would have done 

with the army I [864 under hi mmand, they 
shrugged their shoulders, and said dryly, * Well, he 

lid have ended the war in the Wilderness by 

iblishing the Confederacy 

termin neral Grant to make a 

direct ma rinst Richmond, inst< peating 

Mm lellan's movement of ft by plant- 

his men in front of its walla by way <'t the Y«»rk- 

ninsula, as hi 'aid have had him 

do, was in accord with what the- t I Lincoln 

had from the first advised. In .1 Letter ol Aprils 

aeral McClellan's 

dimiiu that he was not | ly sn s . 

[dent I id: 

me the jus" member I alw.i 'cl that 

ghting a 
i* <»nlv shifting ami n<»t mrmoonting ■ Ity ; that 

ane enemy ami the sanr al intrenchments 

.it either BOW noting, that 

the prevent } ■ an intrenched enemy is hut the 

The Command* hief had at last found a sol- 

dier who was in full accord with his own concept: 
of war. and his whole heart went out to him as it had 
to no Other. Stant >n complained in his impatient 
wa\ iuse the Lieutenant-General had taken from 

the defences of Washington artillerymen that the 

Secretary thought were needed there, and he de- 
manded an explanation. 

1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 249 

M I think I rank you in this matter, Mr. Secre- 
tary," was the quiet answer. 

"We shall have to see Mr. Lincoln about that," 
the Secretary replied. 

11 All right," said the Lieutenant-General. " Mr. 
Lincoln ranks us both." 

They went to the White House. ' Won't you 
state your case, General Grant ? ' said Stanton. 
Grant replied: " I have no case to state; I am satis- 
fied as it is." Mr. Stanton stated his case. Then 
Lincoln answered : 

' You and I, Mr. Stanton, have been trying to 
boss this job, and we have not succeeded very well 
with it. We have sent across the mountains for Mr. 
Grant, as Mrs. Grant calls him, to relieve us, and I 
think we had better leave him alone to do as he 
pleases." * 

Left to himself, Grant had resolved to concentrate 
all his forces for a movement against Lee, and he 
meant to keep the Army of Virginia so busy that it 
would have no leisure nor opportunity for those side 
movements against the Capital which had so often 
disturbed well-laid plans for Confederate discom- 
fiture. To reach Lee, and turn his right flank, 
which was the movement intended, it was necessary 
to cross the Rapidan. Such a movement, in the 
face of a resolute enemy, involved one of the most 
difficult operations of war; but Lee had decided to 
interpose no obstacle to the passage of the river, 
believing that in the impracticable country lying 

* This story was told to the writer by Grant's chief of staff. 

250 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

south of it he would have his enemy at a disadvan- 
tage more than sufficient to neutralise his superiority 
in numbers. 

This region is what is known as the Wilderness, 

or the " Wild Place." It is an elevated pebbly 

plateau of about forty square miles, poor in soil, 
but rich in metallic and the scene of mining 

operations dating from the earliest settlement. It 
I by numerous small streams, and is covered 
with a (id growth of timber following the de- 

struction of the original f<»re^ts by the miners. 

B ides two main highways, it is traversed by 

numerous paths winding in a perfect labyrinth 

through its almost impassable thickets of dwarfed 

Oaks, BCnibby pines, ha/el and juniper trees, all 

tangled together by thorny plants and interlacing 

vines. It is a troublesome country for a stranger to 
pass through under any conditions, and it presents 
insurmountable obstacles to the rapid and con- 
nected movements <»f a great army. 

The Wilderness was a name of horror to the 
Union soldiers. Its dee]) ravines, hidden by brush 
and trees, were full of mystery for them ; while many 
of the Confederates, who had worked in the mines, 
knew the roads, could locate the streams and water- 
courses, were familiar with the natural lines of de- 
fence; and they were aided by the inhabitants, 
who were active spies on the movements of the in- 
vaders. It was the scene of the battle of Chancellors- 
ville, fought one year before, on May 1 to 4, 1863. 
Officers of the Army of the Potomac who partici- 
pated in that battle had obtained some acquaintance 



*shton, r, 

1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 251 

with it by bitter experience. Here it was impossible 
to use cavalry, and all but impossible to use artillery ; 
and the contests between infantrymen recalled the 
experiences of Indian warfare, where each tree and 
tangled thicket hid an enemy, who could only be 
located by the flash of his deadly rifle. Direc- 
tions were given by the points of the compass, and 
the troops were left to make their own battle, it 
being impossible for officers to see ten files away. 

Promptly at midnight on May 3, 1864, Grant set 
his Army in motion to cross the Rapidan over five 
bridges, laid by the cavalry, and spanning its width 
of two hundred feet. Two bridges were laid at 
Germanna Ford on the right, two at Ely's Ford on 
the left, and one at Culpeper Mine Ford in the 
centre. The distance between the right and left 
fords was nearly six miles as the crow flies, eight 
miles following the windings of the river. The cen- 
tre ford was devoted to the trains; the troops mov- 
ing by the other fords, and concentrating south of 
the Rapidan on the two main roads through the 

The movement of the troops, after crossing the 
river, was directed upon Chancellorsville and Wil- 
derness Tavern ; cavalry leading the march, and 
reconnoitring the Orange Pike and Plank Roads, 
the Catharpin Road and the Pamunkey Road, over 
which an enemy might approach. In a single day 
the Union Army crossed the river and advanced 
twenty miles beyond it. It was theoretically possi- 
ble to advance ten miles farther in twenty-four 
hours, and thus escape an encounter with the enemy 

252 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

in this slough of despond. Burnside, who was 
ordered up from the rear, did make such a march 
with raw troops. A similar march by the main 
body, commenced at midnight, would have cleared 
the Wilderness before the enemy could have forced a 
general engagement ; but the enormous impedimenta 
of an army of 100,000 men is as effectual a check 
upon celerity of movement as the brakes upon a 
railroad-train. Four thousand waggons, conveying 
supplies and ammunition, must be moved under the 
protection of the cavalry ; and it was necessary that 
this movement, and that of the reserve artillery, 
should coincide with the march of the columns of 
infantry. Cavalry was delayed by infantry, and in- 
fantry by cavalry, and there were disputes as to 
which was at fault. 

Concerning his initial movement, General Grant 
says: This I regarded as a great success, and it 
removed from my mind the most serious apprehen- 
sion I had entertained, that of crossing the river 
in the face of an active, large, well-appointed, and 
ably commanded army, and how so large a train was 
to be carried through an enemy's country and 

It was legitimate cause for congratulation, but 
Grant's trouble had not yet begun. He had no in- 
tention of giving battle to Lee's veterans in the 
Wilderness, hoping by a rapid movement to get be- 
yond it, and interpose between the Confederates 
and their capital, so as to compel an encounter in a 
more open country. The passage of the river was 
substantially completed by the night of May 4, 

1864] Battle of the Wilderness. 253 

1864, and the troops placed in position; but the 
rear trains were not clear of the Rapidan until the 
night of May 5th. 

General Lee, from his signal-tower station on 
Clark's Mountain, had observed indications of 
Grant's movement as early as May 2d, and further 
observations on May 4th determined his plan of 
action. This was an attack in force on Grant's 
moving columns before he could clear himself of the 
Wilderness. The Union signal officers had inter- 
preted Lee's signal, and Grant was prepared. Burn- 
side was hurrying to join the Army by forced 
marches, and Lee was waiting for Longstreet's 
Corps before inviting a general engagement. Grant 
resolved to force the fight that he might anticipate 
the coming of Longstreet, but the difficulties of 
the ground greatly impeded his freedom of move- 
ment. His advance was over narrow roads, and 
these were closed in by thick woods and under- 
brush ; formations in line of battle were slow and 
difficult ; and the movement of some of his troops 
was greatly impeded by artillery occupying the road. 

The secret of success," says Marshal Saxe, " lies 
in the legs of the soldiers." The march of the 
Army of the Potomac, as a whole, had not been 
sufficiently rapid to secure the advantage hoped for. 
As many had done before him, and as the Prussian 
Guards did later on at St. Privat, Grant experienced 
the difficulty of handling in action, by orders given 
from headquarters, large bodies of troops which he 
could not see. 

Skirmishing between the hostile armies began on 


[ Yvssrs S. Grant, 


the morning of May 5th, and shortly before noon 
the issue was joined In what is known as the Battle 
of the Wildern< The struggle continued with 

varying fortunes until night dropped its veil of dark- 

i and silence over the scene of slaughter. Orders 
were given to renew the fight at five o'clock the next 

morning; but Longstreet arrived during the night, 

and a few minutes before the hour named he opened 

an attack against Grant's left, where Hancock " the 

sup- held the line with the Second Corps. 

Burnside, with his Ninth C irps, had arrived as well 

as Longstreet; and when it was found the left, 

after a temporary sue was being too hard 

pressed, his Ninth c'<>rps was ordered to relieve the 

strain upon Hancock by an immediate- attack. This 

attack was delayed by the difficulty of penetrating 
the foi ind through Borne misunderstanding of 

orders, or a failure in their receipt, one division of 
Hancock's Second Corps was kept out of the fight. 
A a result his assaults, which, a- Genera] Lee wrote, 
were "heavy and desperate/' met with a repulse; 
and Hancock's troops, after fighting fiercely from 
five o'clock in the morning, were- compelled to with- 
draw behind the breastworks from which they had 
advanced to the attack early in the day. 

The Confederates were prevented from taking full 
advantage of the temporary success by the wound- 
ing of Longstreet so severely that he was obliged 
to yield his command. ' In this engagement," 
as the biographer of General Lee tells us, " the at- 
tack of General Meade was conducted with such 
vigor by Hancock, Warren, and Burnside, that 



f864] Battle of the Wilderness. 255 

under ordinary circumstances, with his superiority 
of force, it would have been successful; but here 
the difficulties of the country prevented his making 
systematic combinations, and failure was the con- 

" Back in ceaseless flow from the line that marks 
this fierce struggle the wounded and maimed are 
borne on blankets, litters, telling by their numbers 
the deadly work going on in advance." Never was 
the mettle of troops more tried ; never did they give 
better proof of quality. The battle recalls the stories 
of duels where the combatants are tied together 
and struggle to the death in a darkened room. 
The utmost that the much-enduring Army of the 
Potomac could accomplish was to force Lee to retire 
behind the intrenchments from which he had 
emerged to give battle. To the usual casualties 
was added the possibility of being burned alive; 
and this was the fate of two hundred wounded sol- 
diers, the woods and the fallen timber taking fire 
from the flame of battle. The total killed and 
wounded of the Army of the Potomac and Burn- 
side's Corps was 17,666, the missing numbering 
2902. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded 
was about one third less. As little artillery was 
used, a large proportion of the wounds were slight, 
and many of the men speedily returned to duty. 
Grant's attacks were continuous, and were directed 
against intrenched troops with positions not defined. 
The counter attacks of the Confederates were 
against troops whose location was known, and who 
were not intrenched, with the exception of the 

256 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

action with Hancock in the second day's fight, 
where Lee lost more heavily than Grant. Elsewhere 
his Losses were much less, though no exact estimate 
is possible. The Wilderness,*' says Private Wil- 
keson, " was a privates' battle; the men fought as 
: they could, and fought staunchly; the generals 
could not see the ground, and if they were on the 

front line they could not have seen their troops. 
Tin abilities of vision were limited to less than 

one hundred yards. 

The Army of the Potomac, under the leaders pre- 
ceding Grant, had never " fought to a finish." For 
what reasons it is not necessary to inquire here. 
Advances had been followed by retreats in dreary 
sua ). and long periods of inaction divided 

between the trials of strength in the field. The 

manoeuvres o( tigned to determine the 

theatre of war. and to place an army in the most 
favourable position in presence of the enemy, had 

n successful in a degree; but there had been no 
cor; s in the department of tactics, — 

the quick, orderly change of highly trained and 
flexible masses of men from one kind of formation 

another, or their transference from point to point 

of a battle-held, for purposes which became sud- 
denly possible in the changing course of action." 
How far Grant himself showed mastery in this de- 
partment of war may be a question for argument, 
but he certainly had in high degree Marshal 
Bliicher's quality of obstinacy; and no officer who 
preceded him in Virginia could say with equal 

effect, as Bliicher said in 1 8 1 5, " Criticisms and 

1864J Battle of the Wilderness. 257 

complaints upon the exhausted condition of the 
troops had rained upon me, but I have remained 
deaf to them all." 

The Lieutenant-General had determined in his 
own mind that with the advance once begun there 
should be no steps backward, except in the face of 
such overwhelming disaster as he believed impos- 
sible. Assaults heretofore had nowhere been fol- 
lowed up as they should have been. Ten months 
of idleness, deliberately decided upon, had suc- 
ceeded the staggering blows delivered at Vicksburg, 
Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and Knoxville. 
The reaction of success had shown itself as paralys- 
ing in its effect as the crushing force of defeat. 
McClellan's ultimate failure was ascribed by his 
Chief of Engineers, General Barnard, to the inac- 
tion of eight months, from August, 1861, to April, 

Of the battle of the Wilderness, Wilkeson says, 
in his Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army 
of the Potomac : 

"Grant's military standing with the enlisted men this day hung on 
the direction we turned at the Chancellorsville House. If to the left, 
he was to be rated with Meade and Hooker and Burnside and Pope, 
the generals who preceded him. At the Chancellorsville House we 
turned to the right. Instantly all of us heard a sigh of relief. Our 
spirits rose. We marched free. The men began to sing. The en- 
listed men understood the flanking movement. That night we were 

General Horace Porter, in an article in the Cen- 
tury Magazine, reports, that as he rode with Grant 
by the troops that night, with horses' heads turned 
toward Richmond : 

258 Ulysses S. Grant. U864 

I ■ eary and sleepy after their long battle, with Stiffened 
limbs and smarting wounds, sprang to their feet, forgetful of their 
pains, and r trd to the roadside. Wild cheers echoed 

through the : ind glad sln-uts oi triumph rent the air. Men 

twnng their 1 od up their arms, and pressed forward to within 

touch "f their chief, clapping their hands, and speaking to him with 
' .rades. I'ine knot! and leaves were set On fire, 

and lighted the s^cne with their weird. Bickering glare, The night 

. I become ■ triumphal procession for the new commander. 

itic verdict pronounced by the 

battle in the I 

On that same night General Lee said to General 
James B. Gordon, ' The report comes from all along 
ourfront that Grant is preparing to retreit." Then 
1 sat in silence for a time, as if < d in pro- 

found thought What do you think. General," 
said will Grant retreat \ ' " No, sir!" 

: General I. ' Grant can't retreat, he won't 
reti Their is but one thing for him to do as a 

good general 'and, General Gordon, I rank him 
among the ] he will renew the fight in the 

morning at Spottsylvania Court-House, and you 
must move into ition at once." 



MAY 4, 1864-MARCH, 1865. 

RANT'S movement across the Rapi- 
clan against Lee was substantially the 
same as the one undertaken in the 
Wilderness by Hooker, in the Chan- 
cellorsville campaign of May, 1863, 

and by Meade in the Mine Run operations of No- 
vember, 1863. Hooker was disastrously defeated, 
and Meade was forced to withdraw across the river 
without accomplishing anything. For the first time 
in its history, the Army of the Potomac had ob- 
tained a good hold upon Lee's army, and Grant 
intended that they should keep it. Undiscouraged 
by his partial failure thus far, he resolved to con- 
tinue his attempt to turn Lee's right flank. 

The next movement was directed against Spott- 
sylvania Court-House, the capital of Spottsylvania 
County, situated between the Po and Ny Rivers, 
and sixty-five miles north of Richmond. The de- 
sire to force Lee again to battle without delay 


260 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

was prompted in part by a fear lest he might by 
a rapid movement return to Richmond and crush 
Butler, who had taken City Point by surprise on 
May 5th. Lee's army had withdrawn behind their 
intrenchments in the Wilderness on the night of 
May 6th ; and the following day was occupied by 
both armies in burying their dead, removing their 
wounded, and repairing so far as they could the 
damage received in battle. The desperate fighting 
of May 5th and 6th was succeeded by a lull in the 
storm, disturbed only by cavalry skirmishing. 

Grant's orders for the movement against Spott- 
sylvania Court- House were dated 6.30 A.M., May 7, 
1864. The trains were set in motion at 3 P.M. on 
the 7th to clear the way for the troops, who began a 
night march at half-past eight that evening. Gen- 
eral Sheridan with his cavalry guarded the right 
flank of the marching army, so disposing his troopers 
as to give timely notice of any movement of the 

The race between Grant and Lee for Spottsylvania 
Court-House was a close one. Stuart's cavalry had 
reported the movement of the waggon trains of the 
Union Army on the afternoon of the 7th ; and Lee, 
partially divining Grant's intentions, ordered Long- 
street's Corps, then commanded by Gen. R. H. 
Anderson, to Spottsylvania. Anderson was ordered 
to move the next morning, but, without delaying, 
he pushed on that night. 

Having a route shorter by three miles on an 
unobstructed road, Anderson was able to occupy 
Spottsylvania Court-House before the arrival of 



v^- / A I ■* — * P 






1865] From the Rapidan to the jf antes. 261 

Grant's advance — the Fifth Corps — under Warren. 
Warren had pressed forward with the utmost de- 
spatch ; but his march was delayed by the movements 
of the Union cavalry, who occupied the road he had 
to follow, and were engaged with the Confederate 
cavalry intrenched on their front. The march of 
the Fifth Corps over the narrow roads of the Wil- 
derness was a fatiguing one. The men were in no 
condition for battle when they arrived at their des- 
tination, in the middle of the forenoon of April 8th, 
and they had no opportunity to rest there ; for Lee 
had succeeded in planting his army across Grant's 
line of advance, and was prepared to give battle, 
holding a strong position on a range of hills about a 
mile to the north and north-west of Spottsylvania. 

The operations of Sunday, May 8th, developed 
Lee's position, and resulted in some loss of life in 
encounters with the enemy. May 9th was devoted 
to rest by the Army of the Potomac, and to the 
re-adjustment of its lines and the strengthening of 
its position with intrenchments. The Confederate 
skirmishers and sharpshooters continued at their 
work, and deprived General Meade of one of his 
most trusted lieutenants, Major-General John Sedg- 
wick, commanding the Sixth Corps; that excellent 
soldier, Major-Gen. H. G. Wright, succeeding Sedg- 
wick in command. 

Further work was also done on the ninth in deter- 
mining the character and position of the enemy's 
works. The Confederates were similarly occupied, 
and by the close of day the fronts of both armies 
were covered by continuous lines of formidable 

262 Ulysses S. Grant. U864 

breastworks. The buzzing crowd of skirmishers 
and sharpshooters prevented too close familiarity 
with Lee's lines, but subsequent experience and 
investigation showed that they were very strong, — 
strong enough, indeed, to practically quadruple a 
force defending them against an attack. 

On May 9th, Hancock's Second Corps was sent 
across the River Po, one of the four branches of the 
Mattapony River, with a view to attacking the 
enemy's left; but the operations were undertaken 
too late in the afternoon, and Hancock was ordered 
to return. His withdrawal across the river under 
the fire of an enemy — always a difficult operation — 
was in this case most skilfully and successfully con- 
ducted. In front was an aggressive foe; and in the 
rear, between the retreating force and the river, was 
a burning forest, where some of Hancock's wounded 
perished in the flames. 

Tuesday, May 10th, was occupied by the Army of 
the Potomac in a series of front attacks upon the 
enemy's line. These were made with the most 
sublime courage, and resulted in heavy loss; but it 
was found impossible to break through Lee's in- 
trenchments, which were defended with equal cour- 
age. Partial successes were gained at some points 
in the line, but night found the two armies in the 
positions they had occupied in the morning. Changes 
were made in these positions on May 11th, but no 
encounter resulted. In a letter to Halleck, dated 
that day, 8.30 A.M., General Grant expressed his 
unalterable determination to continue the move- 
ment that he had begun, saying: 

1865] From the Rapidan to the y antes. 263 

"I am now sending back to Belle Plaine all my 
waggons for a fresh supply of provisions and ammu- 
nition, and I propose to fight it out on this line if it 
takes all summer." 

On the afternoon of May nth, Grant arranged 
for another vigorous assault on the enemy at four 
o'clock the succeeding morning. A salient on the 
right centre of the enemy's works had been discov- 
ered by a reconnaissance, and against this point the 
assault was directed. 

The morning of May 12th was foggy, and the 
attack was delayed until 4.35 A.M. Then Han- 
cock's corps advanced in quick time, reserving 
their fire, and with a bold rush carried the enemy's 
works, capturing 4000 of Ewell's corps, including a 
major-general and a brigadier-general, besides sev- 
eral colours, thirty-five pieces of artillery, and many 
small-arms. Hancock's attack was not vigorously 
supported at other points on Grant's front; yet 
repeated desperate assaults by Lee to regain his 
position were repulsed, and he did not succeed in 
retaking the important ground he had lost. Five 
times were his men urged to the attack, only to be 
hurled back each time with heavy loss. 

This fight of Thursday, May 12th, is known as 
that of the " Bloody Angle." Well does it deserve 
its name. The corpses heaped up on its front, after 
the battle had ceased, bore testimony to the savage 
nature of the struggle, which has had few equals in 
the history of war. " The sight the next day," 
reported General Lewis A. Grant, commanding the 
Vermont Brigade, " was repulsive and sickening 

264 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

indeed. Behind their traverses and in the pits 
and holes they had dug for protection, the Rebel 
dead were found piled upon each other. Some of 
the wounded were almost entirely buried by the 
dead bodies of their companions who had fallen on 
them. Many of the dead men were horribly man- 
gled, and the logs, trees, and brush exhibited un- 
mistakable signs of a fearful conflict. The Rebel 
account of a tree over a foot in diameter (a hickory 
eighteen inches thick) being cut off by minie-balls is 
attested to by several Union officers." We are 
further told that " the brush and logs were cut to 
pieces and whipped into basket stuff." 

The results thus far of the campaign against Lee 
had not disheartened Grant, if they had others. 
His line of policy had been determined on in ad- 
vance after full reflection, and he showed no dis- 
position to abandon it. Butler reports Grant as 
saying to him, m an interview at Fort Monroe, 
that the enemy should be conquered by continual 
attrition, and by inflicting loss in every way, and by 
wearing out their resources as fast as possible and 
at however great cost, relying upon our own more 
abundant money and men to bring out a successful 
result. He proposed to attack at all times and 
under all conditions, even at the risk of losing more 
men than Lee, for he knew he could afford to lose 
more. As the rate of death by disease and hard- 
ships incident to camp life was far greater than 
the loss of men by bullet and shell, he thought, 
upon the whole, that if the war could be pressed on, 
and ended shortly, the loss of life and the pecuniary 

1865] From the Rapidan to the James. 265 

expenditure would be less than if it were prolonged. 
The enemy occupying the interior lines of defence 
could hold their ground with fewer men, and, fight- 
ing behind intrenchments, their losses would be less ; 
but, as they could not make their losses good, they 
would in the end fail from exhaustion, even if they 
were to escape serious disaster in battle. 

The losses of General Grant on May 12th were 
6020 men, besides 800 missing. Lee's total he 
places at between 4000 and 5000, including two 
general officers killed, four wounded, and two cap- 
tured. On this day, in the matter of assaults, it 
was give and take. Three general officers of the 
Army of the Potomac were wounded, but none 
killed or captured. The Confederates had also 
suffered a severe loss in the death of their ablest 
cavalry leader, General Stuart, who was killed on 
May 10, 1864, in an encounter near Richmond with 
the cavalry of Sheridan, who was making a raid 
around that city. Stuart, as his biographer tells 
us, " could be ill spared at this critical moment, 
and General Lee was plunged into the deepest mel- 
ancholy at the intelligence of his death." 

From May 13, 1864, to May 17th there was a lull 
in the fighting. Grant was extending his lines to 
the left, and Lee was moving in the same direction 
to cover his menaced flank. 

News was received during this period that Butler 
had captured the outer works of Drury's Bluff, that 
Sherman was driving Johnston before him in Georgia, 
and that Sheridan's raid had temporarily cut off all 
communication with Richmond except by courier. 

266 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

To offset this cheering news, the report came that 
Sigel had been badly defeated at New Market, and was 

retreating down the Shenandoah Valley. He was 
promptly superseded by General Hunter, in accord- 
ance with telegraph orders sent by Grant to Halleck. 
All this news," General Grant says, " was very 

discouraging, but this was no time f<>r repining. I 
immediately gave orders for a movement by the 
left flank on towards Richmond, to commence on 
the night of the 19th. I also asked Halleck to se- 
cure the i ration of the Navy in changing our 
f supplies from Frederipksburg to Port Royal 
on the Rappahannock. " Thus did Grant always 

join issue with evil fortune. 

Tin- assault against the enemy's new line was 

opened May [8, 1 but without result, except 

idd further I ualties "i both armies. At 

this time Grant received his first re-cnforceinents, — 

6000 heavy artillery. They were raw troops, and 
were not in favour with the infantrymen, .is they 

ed to have enlisted as artillery to secure 

the advantages <>f the shelter of the fortifications at 
Washington. They were accordingly received with 
the grim humours of the battle-field. " Wounded 
men would tauntingly point to a shattered arm or a 
inded leg, or I dy wounds on their faces, 

or to dead men lyin<4 in fence corners, and derisively 
shout, ' That is what you will catch up yonder in 
the woods! ' and they would solemnly indicate the 
portion of the forest they meant by extending an 
arm from which blood trickled in drops." 

The quality of these artillerymen was soon tested, 

1865J From the Rapidan to the James. 267 

for they resisted an attack made upon them on May 
19th, before they were in position, with the resolu- 
tion of veterans, holding their ground until they were 
re-enforced ; and Ewell, who had made the assault, 
" was whirled back speedily and with heavy loss." 
If he had the artillerymen, Grant got rid of the artil- 
lery, sending to the rear over one hundred pieces 
with horses and caissons, thus lessening the pressure 
upon the roads over which he was to march, and 
relieving him of what he regarded as so much use- 
less lumber, under the conditions of the campaign. 

This ended the series of battles around Spottsyl- 
vania Court-House. They had resulted in a loss, to 
the Army of the Potomac, of 16,141 killed and 
wounded, and 2258 missing. The Confederate loss 
was much less; "since," as General Humphreys 
says, " they remained on the defensive under the 
cover of intrenchments, entangled in their front in 
a manner unknown to European warfare, and, in- 
deed, in a manner new to warfare in this country." 

The two armies had been in such close contact 
from the time the Army of the Potomac crossed the 
Rapidan, that it was impossible to relax vigilance 
even during the intervals between the fighting. The 
strain upon the men had reached the limit of human 
endurance; for soldiers are not machines, as some 
critics of war would have us think, but flesh and blood 
and brains, that must always be calculated with by 
the successful commander. No one who has not had 
like experience can form any just conception of the 
enormous strain these heroic men had endured ; and 
it is not strange that they should have suffered some 

268 I Vysses S. Grant. H864- 

of ilan. Thirty-six thousand and sixty-five 

men had been added to the list of casualties during 

the campaign of sixteen days, but still the watch- 
word of the Army of the Potomac was " By the 

left flank forward ! 

The next movement was to the North Anna River, 

fifteen miles south of the Po, ro conceal the march 

«>f the troops from the enemy, each COipS Was with- 
drawn in ■•] from the right, and marched in 
the rear of the Other COrpS, taking its position 00 
the left, thus gradually pr ponging the line in that 
direction. Having the advantage «>f interior, and 
thus shorter lines, Lee ible to anticipate the 
movement, and Grant found him more strongly 

intrenched on the North Anna than he was on the 
bloody h< yl\ ania. 

May 19th, Hancock was ordered to move with his 

corps, with T ribert's cavalry, along the line of the 

road connecting Richmond and Fredericksburg, 

Milford Station, twenty mil arer Richmond. 

The purpose in detaching Hancock was to offer him 
a- a bait to L e, trusting, that, if the Confederates 

should he persuaded to c-nne out to attack him, he 
could be re-enforced in time by the other corps fol- 
ding in his rear. But whether Lee saw the trap 
or not, he did not enter it. He again moved to 
interpose his arm)- between Grant and Richmond, 
advancing toward Hanover Junction, where the 
Fredericksburg Railroad is crossed by the Virginia 
Central, running from the valley of the Shenan- 
doah into Richmond. 

Possession of Hanover Junction would cut Lee 


1865] From the Rapidtui to the James. 269 

off at one stroke from Richmond, and from his store- 
houses in the Shenandoah Valley. By the time the 
Army of the Potomac reached Hanover Junction, 
Lee had been re-enforced by a little over 9000 men 
from other commands, relieved from pressure by 
Confederate successes in the Shenandoah Valley, 
and by the inaction of General Butler at Bermuda 

On Sunday, May 22d, the Army received the 
encouraging news that Sherman was still in the 
ascendant ; that he had crossed the Etowah River, 
and was advancing into the heart of Georgia. May 
24, 1864, General Sheridan, with his cavalry corps, 
rejoined the Army, and a cautious advance on 
that day and the next showed that the Army of 
Virginia held a position too strong for direct attack. 
General Butler, having failed to accomplish with the 
Army of the James what was expected of him, was 
ordered to send one half of his force, 16,000 men, 
under W. F. Smith, to re-enforce the Army of the 
Potomac. This still left Butler with a force one 
half greater than that commanded by General Beau- 
regard on his front. 

On May 26th the Army of the Potomac again 
slipped away, making a third attempt to out-ma- 
nceuvre Lee and get around his right flank. On 
that day General Grant wrote to General Halleck: 

11 Lee's army is really whipped. The prisoners we now take show 
it, and the action of his army shows it unmistakably. A battle with 
them outside of intrenchments cannot be had. Our men feel that they 
have gained morale over the enemy and attack him with confidence. 
I may be mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee's army is 
already assured." 

270 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

Grant's base of supplies was now changed to 
White House, at the head of navigation on Pamun- 
key River, twenty-five miles east of Richmond. 
The next objective of the Army of the Potomac 
was Hanover Town, thirty-two miles nearer Rich- 
mond, and fifteen miles north-west of that city. 
Hanover Town was occupied by Sheridan's cavalry 
May 27. 1864; and the infantry crossed the Pamun- 
key River and joined him the next day. A cavalry 
reconnaissance, pushed nearly up to Richmond, re- 
vealed Lee's army holding a strongly intrenched 
position on the Totopotomoy Creek, ten miles north 
of Richmond. From Hanover the two armies 
moved on parallel lines. Grant leading the move- 
ment, until the flanks of both armies rested upon 
the Chickahominv. 

Lee's army was again in a position to invite, if 
not actually to compel, another assault upon strong 
intrenchments. Once more, and once too often, 
was the challenge accepted by the indomitable 
Grant. The attempt to turn Lee's flank, and to 
force him to fight in the open, had been in every 
case a failure. At no time in the campaign had he 
been brought to battle under conditions more advan- 
tageous to himself than now. His right flank was 
within six miles of the outer intrenchments of Rich- 
mond ; and turning movements, whether they invited 
success or disaster, were no longer possible. The 
close proximity of the two armies led to numerous 
encounters from May 31 to June 2, 1864, with severe 
losses on both sides. 

Lee was fated to try conclusions this time with 

1865] From the Rapidan to the James, 271 

the Army of the Potomac in a region remembered 
as the scene of McClellan's unsuccessful ventures 
two years before. 

Grant's order for the attack on Lee's intrench- 
ments at Cold Harbor, as the locality was called, 
was issued June 2, 1864, and four o'clock the next 
morning was named as the hour of attack. A wel- 
come rain came on that afternoon and continued 
through the night, laying the dust in which the 
moving trains had been enveloped. Two assaults 
were made on the intrenchments at Cold Harbor, 
and both met with a bloody repulse. Rank after 
rank of the Federal line went down before the 
deadly fire from the Confederate works. 

Within an hour nearly 12,000 dead and wounded 
Union soldiers lay in front of the enemy's trenches. 
In addition to charging directly in face of a heavy 
fire from intrenched troops, they were subjected to 
an enfilading fire on both flanks. Lee's loss was 
scarcely a tithe of what he inflicted. The result is 
best told in Grant's own frank words. He says in 
his Memoirs : 

44 1 have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was 
ever made. No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for 
the heavy losses sustained. Indeed, the advantages other than those 
of relative losses were on the Confederate side. Before that, the 
Army of Northern Virginia seemed to have acquired a wholesome 
regard for the courage, endurance and soldierly qualities of the Army 
of the Potomac. They no longer wanted to fight them, " one Con- 
federate to five Yanks." Indeed, they seemed to have given up the 
idea of gaining any advantage of their antagonists in the open field. 
They had come to much prefer breast-works in their front to the 
Army of the Potomac. This charge seemed to have revived their 
hopes temporarily ; but it was of short duration. The effect upon 
the Army of the Potomac was the reverse." 

272 Ulysses S. Grant. (1864- 

Cold Harbor was the least excusable of the series 
of desperate and unsuccessful attempts to carry 
Confederate intrenchments by direct attacks. The 
immense losses and the enormous fatigue involved 
in the campaign of the Army of the Potomac, com- 
mencing with the Wilderness, had somewhat shaken 
the courage <>f Meade's gallant army, but it had not 
correspondingly increased the spirits of his oppo- 
nents. Lee realised that he had before him a soldier 
who would be satisfied with no half-way measures 
of victory or defeat, whose hold upon him could 
not be shaken off by anything short of such a crush- 
ing victory as it \\a^ beyond his power to inflict. 
On June 6th and 7th he did make two attacks on 
Grant's right flank, but they were without result. 

Eialleck now advised Grant to change his plan of 
campaign to a movement on his right against Lee's 
left flank, thus placing himself between the Army 
of Virginia and Washington ; but Grant had not 
lost hope of accomplishing his purpose of cutting 
Lee off from his communications with the south, 
and he resolved to continue his movement by the 
left, and against the railroads over which Lee re- 
ceived his supplii The Central and Fredericks- 
burg roads had been already somewhat damaged, 
and Sheridan was sent with a strong cavalry force to 
continue the work of destroying them. 

Unfortunately for Grant's plan, neither Hunter 
nor Butler was able to accomplish what was ex- 
pected of him. Hunter had defeated the force on 
his front, and, forming a junction at Staunton with 
Crook and Averell, was threatening Lynchburg. 

1865] From the Rap i dan to the James. 273 

Hearing of this, Lee, June 13th, sent Early with his 
corps and Breckinridge's command on to attack 
Hunter's rear, and to follow up his advantage, if 
successful, by advancing upon Washington by way 
of Harper's Ferry. General Hunter's long march 
through a hostile country had left him short of 
ordnance stores; and when the enemy appeared in 
force in front of Lynchburg, he retired to Harper's 
Ferry by a circuitous route, that left the Shenandoah 
Valley open to Early's advance. This uncovered 
Washington, and by July 1 ith the Confederates were 
in a position to threaten that city from the north. 

Then there was mounting in hot haste at the 
Capital, which was depending upon much too small 
a force for its protection, and was in more deadly 
peril than at any other time during the war. Par- 
tially disabled soldiers, organised as " Veteran 
Reserves," quartermaster's employees, government 
clerks, and all others who could be brought under 
military control, were forced to do duty. They were 
fortunately able to hold Early in check long enough 
to secure re-enforcements. The gallant Sixth Corps, 
under Wright, was sent from the Army of the Poto- 
mac ; and so much of the Nineteenth Corps as had 
arrived at Washington from Banks's unsuccessful 
Red River expedition, on its way to join the Army 
of the Potomac, was detained for the defence of the 
imperilled city. 

By an heroic defence, under conditions apparently 
hopeless, General Lew Wallace succeeded in delay- 
ing Early's assault for one day; and the day thus 
gained was just sufficient to secure the re-enforce- 

274 Ulysses S. Grant. U864 

ments that made the Capital safe, and compelled 
Early's retreat before a pursuing army. 

These mishaps were less injurious to Grant's pro- 
jects than they might have been at another time, 
and they did not interfere with the plan he had 
resolved upon for moving his army south of the 
James River. Preliminary to this movement, on 
June 9th, Butler sent a force from the Army of the 
James to capture Petersburg, but it returned with- 
out accomplishing its purpose. 

The movement of the Army of the Potomac to 
the James River commenced with the withdrawal of 
the Second Corps, on June 12, 1864, from in front 
of the enemy, and its passage of the river in boats 
on the 14th and 15th. It was intended that Han- 
cock should advance directly upon Petersburg and 
capture that city, but various misunderstandings 
and mistakes delayed his advance until the oppor- 
tunity to seize Petersburg by a coup de main was 
lost. Butler sent \V. F. Smith, with a force of 
16,200 men of all arms, to co-operate with this 
movement by an attack upon Petersburg from the 
north. Though the Confederate force in Petersburg 
at this time was very weak, it proved sufficient to 
delay a movement which lacked vigour and co- 
operation ; and the Confederates were given oppor- 
tunity to strongly intrench their lines at Petersburg, 
and to add to the strength of the force defending 
that city. Partial successes were gained in the 
attack by Smith, and some prisoners were taken, 
but no permanent lodgment was made within the 
enemy's works. 

1865] From the Rapidan to the James. 275 

Want of bridge material delayed the movement 
of the main body of the Army of the Potomac 
across the James until June 16, 1864. The passage 
was then made without mishap, though it was very 
difficult, as the troops were obliged to cross the 
Chickahominy en route to the James, and to make 
exhausting forced marches of from twenty-five to 
fifty-five miles. By midnight of June 16th the 
entire Army, with its artillery and trains, had crossed 
this river, two thousand one hundred feet wide, 
seventy to ninety feet in depth in mid-channel, with 
a tide of four feet, and a strong tidal current. The 
transit was made in ferry-boats and across a pontoon 
bridge. One hundred and one pontoons were used 
for building the bridge, and these were anchored 
above and below the vessels moored in the river. 
The Navy assisted with its armoured ships and gun- 
boats in covering the passage. The march of the 
troops was so directed as completely to deceive Lee 
with the idea that an attack upon Richmond was 
intended, and the crossing of the James was not 
interfered with by him. It was a masterly move- 
ment, and was made without the loss of a man or 
an animal, except a few in Warren's corps, which 
covered the advance of the main Army by a feint 
against Lee's right. 

Movements intended to secure the possession of 
Petersburg having failed, much to the chagrin of 
Meade, that officer was resolved upon capturing the 
city at any cost ; but an assault on the enemy's lines 
on June 18th satisfied him that it was impracticable 
to carry them by a front attack. This assault so far 

276 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

succeeded, however, as to compel the defenders of 
Petersburg to withdraw from their outer line to a 
new line ; and a position was gained close against 
the enemy. The lines thus established remained 
substantially unchanged until the close of the war. 

The lesson of the futility of front assaults on for- 
tified lines had been learned at heavy cost by the 
Army of the Potomac, but it was thoroughly learned. 
In his History of the Second Army Corps, General 
Francis A. Walker, Assistant Adjutant-General of 
the corps, says : 

" The terrible experiences of May and June in assaults on in- 
trenched positions ; assaults made, often, not at a carefully selected 
point, but ' all along the line' ; assaults made as if it were a good 
thing to assault, and not a dire necessity ; assaults made without an 
adequate concentration of troops, often without time for careful 
preparation, sometimes even without examination of the ground — 
these bitter experiences had naturally brought about a reaction, by 
which efforts to outflank the enemy were to become the order of the 
day, so that the months of July and August were largely to be oc- 
cupied in rapid movements, now to the right and now to the left of a 
line thirty to forty miles in length, in the hope of somewhere, at some 
time, getting upon the flank of the unprepared enemy — the sentiment 
of headquarters, and perhaps the orders, being adverse to assaults. 

" Unfortunately this change of purpose did not take place until the 
numbers and morale of the troops had been so far reduced that the 
flanking movements became, in the main, ineffectual from the want 
of vigor in attack, at the critical moments, when a little of the fire 
which had been exhibited in the great assaults of May would have 
sufficed to crown a well-conceived enterprise with a glorious victory. 
But that fire had for the time burned itself out ; and on more than 
one occasion during the months of July and August, 1864, the troops 
of the Army of the Potomac, after an all-day or all-night march 
which had placed them in a position of advantage, failed to show a 
trace of that enthusiasm and elan which characterized the earlier days 
of the campaign. This result was not due to moral causes only. 

1865] Closing in on Richmond. 277 

Physically the troops were dead-beat, from the exertions and priva- 
tions of the preceding two months. Men died of flesh wounds, 
which, at another time, would merely have afforded a welcome ex- 
cuse for a thirty days' sick-leave. The limit of human endurance had 
been reached." 

It was now determined to invest Petersburg, with 
a view to capturing it by regular approaches. The 
remainder of June and the month of July, 1864, 
were occupied in establishing the lines of envelop- 
ment, and in extending the flanks of the several 
corps so as to establish complete connection between 
them. An unsuccessful attempt was also made to 
so extend Grant's lines to the south and west as to 
secure possession of the Petersburg and Weldon 
Railroad running south, and the South Side Rail- 
road running west to Lynchburg on the south side 
of the Appomattox River. In anticipation of the 
siege of Petersburg, Col. H. L. Abbot, an army 
engineer, then commanding a volunteer regiment of 
artillery, had been directed, on April 20th, to prepare 
a siege train. Two months later, on June 24, 1864, 
he reported with his train. 

Toward the end of June, Sheridan returned from 
his cavalry raid on the enemy's communications. 
He had had various successful encounters with 
Hampton's and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry, and de- 
stroyed large amounts of stores, and had done much 
damage in various ways. He had not, however, 
accomplished his main purpose by permanently de- 
stroying the Confederate lines of supply, and estab- 
lishing connection with the Army in the valley of 
the Shenandoah. The railroads had been badly 

278 Ulysses S. Grant H864 

damaged, but the damage was speedily repaired, 

and the Confederates continued to control sufficient 
railroad Communication for their ncce>>aiv purposes. 

Sheridan's return had been hastened by the discov- 
ery oi Early's successful movement up the valley. 

June 22, 1864, the depot at White House was 
ken up, and a train of nine hundred waggons 

sent to join the Army, under the escort of 

Sheridan's cavalry. A bold and successful attack 

by Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry compelled 

the trains tom<>ve back t<> Douthard's Landing, far- 
ther down the riv< They were ferried across the 

James River on June | avalry following 

July 25th, th ad I ' 'i])s and a force of cavalry 

to make a bold dash against Rich- 
mond, to destroy the important railroads in its 
vicinity, and, if possible, t«- take the city itself by 

surprise. It was hoped, that, if not fully successful, 

this would at h impel a withdrawal of the force 

defending Petersb as to 1 an intended 

at a point where the opposing lines were 
only one hundred yai irt. From thisadvan 

position a mine had been run under a Confederate 
redan, the work being completed July 23d by a 
detachment of experienced coal-miners belonging to 

a Pennsylvania regiment. Every precaution was 

taken to conceal this work ; but the mine was dis- 
covered by the enemy, who, after failing in an 
attempt to countermine, established a new line of 
works to cover the threatened breach in their in- 

1865] Closing in on Richmond. 279 

The mine was fired early in the morning of July 
30, 1864. A picturesque display of pyrotechnics 
resulted from the explosion ; that was all. The 
assault that followed was a dismal failure. An 
immense crater was formed, and a wide breach was 
made in the enemy's lines; but, owing to the inca- 
pacity and cowardice of some of the officers leading 
the troops, the breach was not occupied. Instead of 
charging vigorously, the troops huddled together jn 
a crowded mass around the edges of the crater, 
under the burning sun of a July day, but they made 
no attempt to go farther on. No order or enter- 
prise was shown in the assault. Thus this second 
opportunity to capture Petersburg was lost. A 
large number of officers were captured in the crater, 
and, all together, 2098 officers and men were uselessly 
killed and wounded, and over 1500 taken prisoners. 
The Confederate loss was in the neighbourhood of 

This affair of " Burnside's Mine," as it was called, 
was one of the most humiliating in the history of 
the Army of the Potomac. It led to a military 
Court of Inquiry, ordered at the request of General 
Meade, and, an investigation by the " Congressional 
Committee on the Conduct of the War." The con- 
clusion was in effect that the assault had failed from 
mismanagement and misbehaviour on the part of 
several of those directing it, including the Corps 

The natural result of the severe experiences of the 
Army of the Potomac since it crossed the Rapidan 
had been the loss of many of its most efficient and 

280 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

courageous officers, whose absence was sadly felt on 
this occasion. 

The lines about Petersburg were now strength- 
ened by the engineers with redoubts and return- 
works, so that they could be held with the smallest 
possible force, leaving the main body of the Army 
free for movement. 

Everywhere, except in the Shenandoah Valley, 
the Lieutenant-General had succeeded in controlling 
the movements of troops without serious interfer- 
ence from Washington. But his orders were sent 
through Washington, which was a telegraphic cen- 
tre; and at the capital presided Stanton and Halleck, 
who, like two nervous old women, were in a con- 
stant state of alarm lest something should be done 
to jeopardise the safety of the city. 

President Lincoln thoroughly understood the sit- 
uation, but was apparently unable to prevent the 
interference of the War Department with the orders 
Grant sent through it, directing movement of troops 
in the Valley. In a confidential cipher despatch to 
Grant, August 3, 1864, the President said that no 
one in Washington had any idea of following the 
enemy " to the dcatJi " in any direction. He added, 

I repeat to you, it will neither be done nor at- 
tempted, unless you watch it every day and hour, 
and force it." 

In two hours after the receipt of this despatch, 
Grant was on his way to General Hunter's army. 
He asked that general, when he arrived, where 
the enemy was. Hunter replied that he did not 
know. He was so embarrassed with orders from 

1865] The Shenandoah Valley. 281 

Washington, moving him first to the right and then 
to the left, that he lost all trace of the enemy. He 
wished to be relieved from command ; and Sheridan, 
who had already been decided upon as his successor, 
was telegraphed to come at once and take his place. 

Under General Sheridan's vigorous administration 
the Confederates were defeated at Winchester, Vir- 
ginia, on September 19, 1864, and again at Cedar 
Creek a month later. The losses in these two bat- 
tles were nearly equal ; but Cedar Creek substantially 
closed the Valley campaign, and the Sixth Corps 
was returned to the Army of the Potomac ; Early, 
with his forces, rejoining the army of Lee. Sheridan 
made thorough work of destroying everything that 
could be used in supplying the enemy, and the rich 
valley of the Shenandoah was no longer a store- 
house for Lee's army. As Sheridan reported, it 
was swept so bare that a bird could not fly over it 
without carrying his rations with him. It was this 
policy of unrelenting war that finally brought the 
Confederacy to terms. 

While Sheridan was busied in " cleaning out " the 
Shenandoah Valley, Grant was conducting a series 
of operations in front of Petersburg, in part intended 
to prevent Lee from detaching troops to re-enforce 
the enemy in front of Sheridan. A movement to 
the north side of the James River, threatening Rich- 
mond, was undertaken for this purpose from August 
13 to 20, 1864. The troops left about Petersburg 
were instructed to keep watch, meanwhile, to take 
advantage of any weakening in the enemy's line 
in that quarter. Not only was Lee prevented from 

282 Ulysses S. Grant [1864- 

sending re-enforcements to Early, but Warren, op- 
erating from the south side of the James, succeeded 
in securing lodgment on the Weldon Railroad ; and 
it remained in Grant's possession from this time 
until the end of the war. The loss of his complete 
control over this road seriously embarrassed Lee, as 
it compelled him to draw his supplies from the south 
in waggons for a distance of thirty miles over a gap 
in the railroad. 

On October 7th, Lee made a successful attack 
upon Grant's cavalry north of the James, but he 
was repulsed with severe loss in an attack which fol- 
lowed on the intrenched infantry line. Grant's 
operations around Richmond for the winter closed 
with an unsuccessful attempt made on October 27th 
to get possession of the South Side Railroad. The 
various operations during the autumn of 1864 had 
resulted in extending his intrenchments to the right 
and left, thus forcing Lee to attenuate his line of 
defence to cover a constantly elongating front. Lee 
warned the Confederate authorities at Richmond 
that it was getting so thin that it was in danger of 
breaking; but their resources were exhausted, and 
they could do nothing for him. 

Another movement from Grant's right flank, on 
the north side of the James River, on September 28 
and 29, 1864, and one in co-operation with it on the 
left of Grant's army, resulted in the capture of one 
of the enemy's forts, Fort Harrison, with a line of 
intrenchments, and the extension of Grant's lines 
on both flanks. 

The winter of 1864-65 was a very hard one, and 


The Shenandoah Valley. 


both of the armies around Petersburg and Richmond 
suffered severely, especially the thinly clad and 
poorly fed Confederates. The successes of Sheridan 
in the valley of the Shenandoah, and Sherman's 
advance from the south, were constantly narrowing 
Lee's field of supply; and, with his railroad connec- 
tions badly broken, he had difficulty in bringing 
within the reach of his men such scanty stores as 
were still available. The winter was occupied by his 
army in strengthening its intrenchments around 
Petersburg. In the spring they extended over a 
front of thirty-seven miles. 



MAY, 1864-FEBRUARY, 1865. 

N December, 1864, Butler had con- 
ceived the brilliant project of captur- 
ing Fort Fisher, on the North Carolina 
coast, by hauling a vessel loaded with 
three hundred tons of powder close 
under the works, and blowing them down by ex- 
ploding the powder. It was supposed that the de- 
tonation of such a mass of explosives would not 
only injure the work, but demoralise the garrison so 
as to open the way for a successful assault. 

The powder was duly exploded on December 23, 
1864, but it did not disturb the enemy and the 
chief effect seems to have been to demoralise Butler 
himself. His movement was made in co-operation 
with the Navy under Admiral Porter, who insisted 
that, under the cover of a bombardment by his fleet, 
a successful assault was still possible. Butler did not 
think so. Withdrawing his troops from the posi- 
tion they occupied on the beach, he re-embarked 




1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 285 

them on transports, and returned to his position in 
front of Richmond. 

Butler soon afterward visited the authorities at 
Washington ; and while he was engaged in explain- 
ing to them that it was impossible to take Fort 
Fisher, he was interrupted by a newsboy crying an 

extra' containing a report of the capture of the 
fort. General Alfred H. Terry, who had been sent 
to Fort Fisher on January 6th with 8000 troops, 
had made a successful assault on January 14th, aided 
by a force of sailors and marines. The Navy co- 
operated in this movement by a bombardment, 
and the fort passed under the control of General 

Major-General William T. Sherman was the only 
officer commanding a subordinate army who had 
thus far fulfilled expectations. On May 5, 1864, 
the same day that Grant moved against Lee, Sher- 
man entered upon his campaign in Georgia, having 
an effective force of about 100,000 men and 254 
guns. Opposed to him was General Joseph E. 
Johnston, the ablest of the Confederate command- 
ers, in the opinion of Grant, with about 60,000 men, 
to which an additional corps, under General Polk, 
was afterwards added. By a series of brilliant at- 
tacks and flanking movements, Sherman, in a cam- 
paign of four months, forced his antagonist over 
one hundred miles south, from near the northern 
boundary of Georgia down to Atlanta, Georgia. 
His line of operations was crossed by the Oostan- 
aula, Etowah, and Chattahoochee Rivers, and by 
several mountain spurs, each of which afforded a 

286 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

strong line of defence. The movement was along 
the line of the Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, 
known as the Western Atlantic Road. As Sherman 
advanced and took possession of this road, it fur- 
nished him with the means of supplying his army; 
but it had to be guarded every step of the way by 
bomb-proof block-houses provisioned for a siege, 
and his fighting force was constantly depleted by 
the detachments required to guard the railroad car- 
rying his supplies. 

At the time the advance movement commenced, 
Johnston occupied an intrenched position across the 
railroad at Dalton, Georgia, and behind a mountain 
known as Rocky Face Ridge. Just north of Dal- 
ton is a gorge through Rocky Face Ridge, called 
Buzzard's Roost. The Confederates occupied this 
gorge, and an exceedingly strong and elaborately 
fortified position behind it, much too strong to 
invite a direct attack. They had neglected, how- 
ever, to take possession of Snake Creek Gap, a wild 
and picturesque defile, five or six miles long, open- 
ing a way through the mountains in their rear. 
There was no road through the gap, only a trail 
worn by the country waggons in threading their way 
along the edges of the little creek passing through 
this cleft in the mountain. Thomas had discovered 
this possible but unpromising route to the rear of 
Johnston, and McPherson was sent with 23,000 
troops to see if he could get through the pass, Sher- 
man meantime occupying Johnston's attention by a 
front attack. McPherson moved May 9, 1864, 
passed through Snake Creek Gap without oppo- 

1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 287 

sition, took Johnston in reverse, and compelled him 
to withdraw hastily from his position at Dalton on 
the night of May 15th. Then, after some skirmish- 
ing and fighting at Resaca, Johnston withdrew 
across the Oostenaula River. 

Sherman occupied Resaca, and after waiting for 
a few days to rest his troops, repair the railroad, and 
provide supplies, advanced again. By a series of 
flanking movements and vigorous attacks, he grad- 
ually forced his enemy, during the month of May, 
1864, to evacuate one after another the strong posi- 
tions of Dalton, Resaca, and Allatoona. Johnston 
finally established himself near Marietta, where he 
occupied three fortified hills, known as Kenesaw 
Mountain, Pine Mountain, and Lost Mountain. 
The operations during the month of May resulted 
in the loss of about 9000 men to each army. 

Sherman was now in possession of the railroad 
from Chattanooga south to Allatoona Station, which 
was occupied and fortified as a secondary base. 
Operations during the month of June were greatly 
interfered with by heavy rains, converting the coun- 
try into a quagmire, and transforming streams usu- 
ally dry into almost impassable obstructions. It 
was impossible to trace the roads through the wil- 
derness of mire, and artillery and horses were fre- 
quently in danger of being ingulfed in quicksands. 
After a series of unsuccessful minor attacks, Sher- 
man decided on a bold movement to break the 
enemy's line at Kenesaw Mountain. He lost 3000 
men in an unsuccessful assault on June 21, 1864; 
but he accomplished his purpose of holding John- 

288 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

ston, so that it was impossible for him to detach 
any portion of his force to assist Lee in Virginia. 
This mutual co-operation and assistance is the key 
to the campaigns of Sherman and Grant. 

Grant, having established himself in front of 
Petersburg, sent Sherman word on June 28, 1864, 
that he might leave the Army of the Potomac out 
of his calculations. Sherman at once resolved to 
resume his plan of flank operations; cutting loose 
temporarily from the railroad with ten days' sup- 
plies, and moving boldly by his right across the 
Chattahoochee, leaving Thomas strongly intrenched 
to guard his rear. This compelled Johnston to 
evacuate the works at Kenesaw on the night of July 
2d and 3d, and to establish himself in a new posi- 
tion farther south, behind the Nickajack Creek, 
where an intrenched camp with a front of five miles 
had already been provided for him by Georgia mil- 
itia, aided by negroes impressed into the service of 
the Confederate engineers. 

Sherman was now in possession of the railroad 
from Chattanooga to the Chattahoochee. He 
proceeded to repair it, and his camps were soon 
within railroad communication with the North. 
From a hill near his headquarters at Vining Station 
the coveted city of Atlanta could be seen, and the 
movements of Johnston's troops noted. The move- 
ment southwards from the Etowah River had occu- 
pied but little more than a month, and had been made 
under the most trying circumstances of weather. 
From June 10th to July 3d, skirmishes alternated 

with occasional heavy engagements so closely as to 

1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 289 

almost constitute a continuous battle. Sharp expe- 
rience had transformed the Union soldiers into an 
army of veterans ; continued success had developed 
their confidence in themselves and in their com- 
mander, and there was nothing they were not ready 
to undertake. The casualties of the month of June 
had been 7500 men. The Confederate loss was 
about the same. With the exception of the attack 
on the Confederate lines, June 27th, the movement 
had been one of advance by skirmish lines and ex- 
tension of flanks. Both armies had tried assaults, 
but these were not pushed to such extremities as in 
the Army of the Potomac. 

After collecting fresh supplies, Sherman was pre- 
pared for another flanking movement. This was 
directed against Decatur, five miles east of Atlanta, 
on the railroad connecting Atlanta with Augusta 
and the seacoast. July 18th the commands of 
McPherson and Schofield were sent to destroy this 
road, and to sever Atlanta from the east while Sher- 
man threatened it from the north. 

Johnston was a skilled soldier; but his Fabian 
policy had not encouraged confidence in him at 
Richmond, and his removal from command was 
resolved upon. On July 17, 1864, he received tele- 
graphic orders from Richmond to turn over his 
command to Lieut. -Gen. J. B. Hood, who com- 
manded one of his army corps. This change, 
while it pleased the Confederate Government, was 
equally satisfactory to Grant and Sherman. Hood 
determined upon a change of policy from the de- 
fensive to the aggressive, and this gave Sherman 

290 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

the advantage the Confederates had enjoyed up to 
this time. July 20, 1864, Hood made an attack on 
the Union Army, which resulted in his defeat at 
Peach Tree Creek; he losing 4796, and Sherman 
1710. A still worse defeat resulted from Hood's 
attempt to overwhelm Sherman, on July 220, by 
striking him on his moving left flank before he 
could get into position and fortify. Hood lost 
8499, and Sherman but 3641 ; and this action, 
which was intended to seal the fate of the Union 
Army, was decisive as to the fate of Atlanta, enab- 
ling Sherman to draw his lines closely around the 
doomed city. 

By July 25th, railroad communication with Chat- 
tanooga had been completed across the Chatta- 
hoochee, and Sherman was ready for a new flanking 
movement. The railroad connecting Atlanta with 
the Atlantic seaboard had been occupied by the 
Union troops, and thirty miles of it destroyed. 
This reduced Hood's means of supply to a road 
running south to East Point, Georgia, and branch- 
ing thence into two roads, — one running south-west 
to Montgomery, Alabama; and the other south-east 
to Macon, Georgia. General Stoneman, having 
failed disastrously in an attempt to destroy these 
roads by a cavalry raid, an effort was made to pro- 
long Sherman's right flank to East Point so as to 
cover them. The aggressive Hood attempted to 
defeat this movement by an attack on Sherman's 
right flank, July 28, 1864; but he was repulsed at 
Ezra Church with a loss of 4642, Sherman losing 
but 700. These experiences show what would have 


1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 291 

been the result in Virginia if Lee had followed 
Hood's policy of attack. 

Attempts on both sides to destroy by cavalry 
raids the enemy's railroad communication led to 
but little result. Sherman's communications by 
rail and telegraph were interrupted nearly every 
night, but they were restored as fast as they were 
broken. In forty days, Gen. G. M. Dodge built 
more than one hundred miles of railroad in the rear 
of the advancing army, and one hundred and eighty 
bridges, using such material and tools as were to be 
gathered in the neighbourhood, meanwhile subsist- 
ing the 8000 men under his command by foraging 
on the country. The railroad corps organised by 
Sherman suggested to the Prussians the establish- 
ment of the similar corps used by them for the first 
time, and so effectively, in the Danish war of 1866, 
and on a larger scale in the Franco-Prussian war. 

Taking advantage of the absence of a part of 
Hood's cavalry, Sherman, on August 19, 1864, sent 
his own cavalry, under Kilpatrick, on a raid against 
the Macon Railroad. They succeeded in doing 
some damage to the road about Jonesboro', and 
from there made a complete circuit around Atlanta 
before returning. 

For over a month Sherman continued to extend 
his right in the direction of the Macon Railroad, 
fortifying step by step as he advanced. On August 
25, 1864, he withdrew from the immediate front of 
Hood's army, and moved in force against the rail- 
road from East Point to Red Oaks and Fairburn, 
and thoroughly destroyed it. By the 31st of the 

292 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

month he had made a permanent lodgment on 
the road from Rough and Ready to Jonesboro', 
the enemy being defeated in an attempt to dis- 
lodge him. 

This closed Hood's last line of communication, 
and compelled the evacuation of Atlanta. On the 
night of September 1, 1864, Sherman was kept 
awake by the exploding shells with which Hood 
was destroying the public property, preparatory to 
his withdrawal. Early on the morning of Septem- 
ber 2d, a note was received from General Slocum, 
stating that he was in possession of the city, which 
had been so stubbornly defended and so successfully 

The news of the fall of Atlanta was received with 
great rejoicing by the Army, at Washington, and all 
over the North. It had an important influence 
upon the results of the National election, which, in 
November following, extended Mr. Lincoln's term 
as President for another four years. Lincoln tele- 
graphed the National thanks " to Major- General W. 
T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of 
his command before Atlanta." General Grant in- 
formed them that he had " ordered a salute to be 
fired with shotted guns from every battery bearing 
upon the enemy." 

During August and September, Sherman had lost 
5139 men, and Hood 7143. Up to the fall of 
Atlanta, the total loss of the Union Army had 
been 31,687, and the Confederates 34,979. This 
does not include cavalry losses, which were about 
equal on the two sides. Sherman's total force had 

[1865 Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 29 


varied from 98,787 to 112,819, and he now had 

After lingering some time in the vicinity of 
Atlanta, Hood endeavoured to shake his adver- 
sary's hold upon that city by advancing north and 
attacking his line of communication. He did not 
succeed in accomplishing the intended result, though 
he did compel General Sherman to follow him with 
the main body of his army to protect his communi- 
cation. Failing to reach Hood and bring him to 
battle, Sherman despatched General Thomas to 
Nashville, with two corps of his army, to defend the 
line of the Tennessee River while he himself made 
preparations for a further advance into the heart of 
Georgia. Meanwhile Hood rested at Florence, Ala- 
bama, and occupied a month there in gathering 
supplies and preparing for a further movement 

On November 2d, Sherman's army lay stretched 
from Rome to Atlanta, Georgia, and he began his 
preparations for his famous march of three hun- 
dred miles from Atlanta east to the seaboard at Sa- 
vannah. All detachments were ordered to con- 
centrate at Atlanta; the railroad and telegraph 
communications in the rear were completely broken 
by November 12th; and Sherman, who had now 
with him 60,000 men, was completely isolated from 
all communication with the North, and in the heart 
of the enemy's country. Non-combatants, ineffi- 
cient men, surplus baggage, and everything else not 
absolutely essential, had been sent away, and his 
force was stripped for the march and the battle. 

294 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

On November 16, 1864, the Army finally turned 
its back upon Atlanta. It was a beautiful sunny 
day, with bracing air; and, full of confidence and 
expectation, the men started on their long tramp. 
All caught the inspiration of the occasion, and many 
a group called out to Sherman as he drove past 
them : 

Uncle Hill\', I guess Grant is waiting for us at 
Richmond. " 

The white people came out of their houses to 
behold the sight, in spite of their deep hatred of the 

invaders, and the negroes vpere simply frantic with 

joy." For them the " year <>f jubilee " had come. 
One poor n< irl was seen " in the very ecstasy 

of a Methodist shout, hugging the banner of one 

of the regiments, and jumping up to the ' feet of 

J 1 » » 


The various columns proceeding by different 

road-^ establish* mmunication with each other 

November 23d ; the right being then at Gordon, and 
the left at Milledge\ ille, the capital of Georgia. 
Til* in communicated on December 3d, at Mil- 

ieu. From there the march was directed on Savan- 
nah by the four main roads, reaching the defences of 
that city on I )•■> ■ aiber 9 and 10, 1864. Here com- 
munication was opmed with the fleet under the 
command of Admiral Dahlgren. Fort McAllister 
was carried by storm December 13th, and by the 
2 1 st of the month Savannah itself was in the posses- 
sion of General Sherman, and he was able to send 
word to President Lincoln that he offered it as a 
Christmas gift to the country. 

1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 295 

Meanwhile General Hood had not been idle. 
After some time spent at Florence, on the Tennes- 
see River, in the north-west corner of Tennessee, 
preparing for battle, he crossed the boundary into 
Tennessee; and in the battles of Franklin (Novem- 
ber 30th, 1864) and Nashville (December 15th and 
16th) he dashed the Confederate Army of invasion 
into pieces against the invincible Thomas. 

In these two engagements, so disastrous to the 
Confederacy, the fighting Hood had lost 21,252 
men, and Thomas only 4466. Not only had At- 
lanta been captured, but the army defending it had 
been destroyed. With the exception of the rear- 
guard, it was " a disheartened and disorganised 
rabble of half-armed and barefooted men, who 
sought every opportunity to fall out by the wayside 
and desert their cause to put an end to their suffer- 
ings. " Hood's weakness had been his enemy's 
opportunity; his courage was that of a goaded bull, 
whose mad passion insures its own destruction. 
Failing to shake Sherman's hold upon Atlanta by 
threatening his communications, he had conceived 
wild dreams of marching to the defeat of Grant, and 
joining Lee in an attack on Washington. When he 
finally decided to strike at Nashville, he proposed, 
if victorious there, to move on to the Ohio River. 
His army, gathered together by great exertions, 
numbered from fifty to sixty thousand men, and in- 
cluded an excellent body of ten or twelve thousand 
cavalry under the redoubtable Forrest. Thomas 
had in the beginning scarcely more than half as 
many men ; but at the time of the battle of Nashville 

296 Ulysses S. Grant. M864- 

he had gathered together about fifty-five thousand, 
and his force outnumbered the troops that Hood 
brought into battle. At Franklin the Confederates 
fought with desperate courage, but suffered a repulse 
involving a loss more than double that of the Union 
forces under General Schofield. At Nashville, as 
Hood himself tells us, his line " broke at all points," 
and he '* beheld for the first and only time the Con- 
federate Army abandoning the field in confusion." 
1 1 is rout was one of the most complete of the war; 
and it gave final and convincing proof of the con- 
summate ability of Thomas 

Hood's movement northward naturally gave 
great anxiety to Grant and to the Administration. 
The situation up to the battle of Nashville was a 
serious one, and Thomas's deliberate movements 
seemed to Grant's impatience to portend disaster. 
lie had the highest respect for Thomas's character 
and ability, but he never seemed to come in touch 
with him as he did with Sherman and Sheridan. 
When he was a cavalry instructor at the Military 
Academy, Thomas had acquired the sobriquet of 
" Slow Trot Thomas," because in cavalry drill he 
would never permit the cadets to go beyond the 
slow trot, and Sherman records the single and only 
instance in which he ever saw him urge his horse 
beyond that gait. Thomas's slowness was physical, 
not mental. He was sufficiently prompt to act when 
the occasion called for it, though nothing could 
hurry him in advance of his judgment. Hood cer- 
tainly had no occasion to consider him too slow. 

The battle of Nashville relieved the tension upon 


1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 297 

Grant, which had become almost unbearable. While 
Hood had been threatening the States along the 
Ohio River in his movement north, Sherman had 
been lost in the wilds of Georgia, and the air was 
filled with prophecies of disaster to him. Grant 
himself had not succeeded in taking Richmond, and, 
as his army was farther away from it than it had 
been six months before, his critics had full course in 
encouraging the popular opinion that his campaign 
was a failure. 

Nor had he succeeded according to his own ex- 
pectations ; for the army of Lee, which he set out 
to destroy, was still defiant; but if defiant, its 
ardour for aggressive action had sensibly cooled. 
Lee had made no serious attempt to reverse the 
roles of offence and defence since the Battle of the 
Wilderness. He was only too happy if he could 
maintain his position behind his formidable line, 
and retain at least a sufficient hold upon lines of 
communication to save his troops from actual 

If he had not succeeded in destroying Lee, Grant 
had succeeded in holding him in so tight a grip that 
Sherman was able to accomplish his purposes with- 
out being molested. To use Lincoln's homely 
simile, Grant proposed to hold the leg while Sher- 
man took off the skin. The movement across 
Georgia was practically unopposed ; indeed, it had 
been a sort of a holiday picnic. The air was filled 
with flying bulletins issued by the Confederate and 
State authorities to fire the Southern heart ; but the 
actual record of opposition is shown in the list of 

298 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864 

only 531 killed and wounded, and 1616 captured and 
missing. Sherman was fortunately favoured by 
good weather in his march across Georgia; and 
when he arrived in sight of the Atlantic, after a 
tramp of four weeks, his waggons were still loaded 
with supplies, and his men and animals were in 
much better condition than when they left Atlanta. 

As the result of Grant's supreme command of the 
Union forces for eight months, the year 1864 closed 
with joyful auguries. Despair had settled upon the 
Confederacy; hope and confident expectation filled 
the heart of every man who desired the perpetua- 
tion of the union of the States. The re-election of 
Abraham Lincoln, in November, 1864, made it 
clear that there was to be no change of policy in 
the conduct of the Government. On the theory 
that the Confederate authorities were sufficiently 
discouraged, movements looking to negotiations for 
peace were started both North and South. As the 
authorities at Richmond still continued to demand 
independence, and Mr. Lincoln insisted without 
qualification upon the complete restoration of 
Federal authority over all places within the States 
of the Confederacy, no result followed beyond con- 
ferences under a flag of truce. 

The Confederate commissioners came through 
Grant's lines January 29, 1865, and met him at his 
headquarters. One of them, Alexander Stephens, 
in his War Between the States (vol. ii., page 597), 
records his surprise at the great simplicity and per- 
fect naturalness of the General-in-Chief, and the 
entire absence of anything like affectation, or even 

1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 299 

the usual air of authority customary to men in his 
position. Mr. Stephens says: 

" He was plainly attired, sitting in a log cabin busily writing on a 
small table by a kerosene lamp. It was night when we arrived ; there 
was nothing in his appearance or surroundings that indicated his offi- 
cial rank. There were neither guards nor aides about him. . . . 
The more I became acquainted with him, the more I became 
thoroughly impressed with the very extraordinary combination of rare 
elements of character which he exhibited." 

The commissioners had good reason for their 
impression of Grant's character, for they had found 
the simplicity of the soldier too much for the arts of 
the politician. Hoping to escape the humiliation 
of unconditional submission to civil authorities, they 
sought to persuade Grant to open negotiations with 
Lee on his own account, thus putting the Con- 
federate authorities at Richmond in a position to 
treat with the Government at Washington on the 
footing of independent States. The suggestion to 
this effect was received by the General-in-Chief in 
silence, " not feeling at liberty," as he informed 
Mr. Stanton, " to give them any hint of his opinion 
on the subject of peace." This was wise reticence, 
as the event showed. 

The failure of peace negotiations compelled the 
Confederates to choose between surrender and 
the hopeless task of staying the further march of 
the Union Army; but their humiliation had not 
yet reached the point of surrender. Davis, the 
President of the Confederacy, who forgot nothing 
and learned nothing, in a speech at Richmond, 

300 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

defiantly announced that they would yet " compel 
the Yankee to petition us for peace on our own 

This was the defiance of despair. Doubt and 
despondency were already sapping the foundations 
of Southern persistency ; and the purchase of a 
thousand dollars in Confederate promises to pay, 
with a single barrel of flour, was a better test of 
Confederate prospects than the assertions of the 
Confederate President. As General Grant expressed 
it, " the cradle and the grave had been robbed " by 
a sweeping conscription to secure recruits for the 
Southern Army. Desertion was becoming more 
and more common, and the criminations and re- 
criminations that hasten the fate of a failing cause 
were already disturbing the councils of the Rich- 
mond Government. 

On learning the news of Sherman's arrival at the 
oust with his army, Grant had sent him orders 
to embark his troops on transports, and to bring 
them north to join him in the movement against 
Lee, On January 2, 1S65, General Barnard, Grant's 
Chief Engineer, arrived at Savannah, bringing 
despatches for Sherman, and among them a revoca- 
tion of the order to bring his troops north by sea. 
This left Sherman free to carry out his own plan, 
which was to march across the country in the direc- 
tion of Richmond. This movement was a bold one, 
and involved far greater risks than his " march to 
the sea," which had set the country wild with enthu- 
siasm at his success, and admiration of his daring. 

After detaching a garrison to hold Savannah, 

AwTOtf, I'd* 
1865) Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 301 

Georgia, Sherman had some sixty thousand men 
under his command. These he proposed to move 
north in two columns, — one following the line of 
the Savannah River in the direction of Augusta, 
Georgia; the other moving farther to the east, 
threatening Charleston. Starting his movement 
on January 2, 1865, the General set his columns in 
motion as speedily as possible ; and by the middle 
of the month he had secured a foothold on the soil 
of South Carolina, between Pocotaligo and Coosa- 
whatchie. Here he was delayed until February 1st 
by bad weather, and by the difficulty of safely trans- 
porting his troops across the swamps and streams 
that here indent the Atlantic coast. 

The first move was directed against Branchville, 
South Carolina. There Sherman destroyed the rail- 
road connecting Augusta with Charleston. He 
continued his work of railroad destruction to 
Orangeburg, which cut off Charleston from Colum- 
bia, the capital of the State, and isolated it from the 
interior. These movements were practically unop- 
posed. There were troops at Augusta and Charles- 
ton on Sherman's flanks, as he marched, but they 
were so busy in preparing for the defence of those 
cities, both of which expected an attack, that they 
did not venture upon aggression. The remnants of 
Hood's broken army were gathering in front, and 
there were other forces scattered through the State, 
— sufficient, in combination with Hood's troops, to 
make a very respectable army. The chief danger 
feared was that Lee might break away from Grant 
and join the forces opposing Sherman. 

302 Ulysses S. Grant. [1864- 

Preparations for such a contingency had been 
made by sending supplies to the various points on 
the Atlantic held by the Union troops, and notify- 
ing the Navy to be in readiness to co-operate if the 
opportunity should offer. In addition to the sup- 
plies he carried with him in waggons, Sherman 
calculated that his animals could be slaughtered in 
an emergency, and they would furnish him with 
sustenance for two or three months. As he ad- 
vanced, he learned of the fall of Fort Fisher on 
January 15th; and later on, that Schofield, who had 
been sent to capture Wilmington, had succeeded in 
taking possession of that place on February 22d. 
These were strong diversions in his favour, and 
greatly increased his confidence of success. 

On February 17, 1865, Sherman entered Columbia; 
and on the day following, Hardee, who was in com- 
mand of Charleston, evacuated that city, and it was 
occupied by Union troops from Morris Island. 

From Columbia, Sherman directed his march by 
Cheraw on Fayetteville, where he arrived on March 
nth. At Fayetteville he succeeded in opening 
communication with the fleet by the way of the 
Cape Fear River. Crossing that river on March 
15th with his troops, he reached Goldsboro', where 
he joined forces with Schofield, in command of the 
Twenty-third Corps. The march from Columbia to 
Goldsboro' was vigorously opposed by the Confed- 
erate army under the command of Hardee. There 
was constant skirmishing, and active engagements 
at Averysboro', where Sherman lost 554 men killed 
and wounded, and at Bentonsville, where the loss 

1865] Campaigns of Sherman and Thomas. 303 

was 1604. Summarising the result in his Memoirs, 
Sherman says : 

" Thus was concluded one of the longest and most important 
marches ever made by an organized army in a civilized country. The 
distance from Savannah to Goldsboro' is 425 miles, and the route 
traversed embraced five large navigable rivers, viz. : the Edisto, 
Broad, Catawba, Peedee and Cape Fear, at any of which a com- 
paratively small force well-handled, should have made the passage 
most difficult, if not impossible. The country generally was in the 
state of nature with innumerable swamps with simply mud roads, 
nearly every mile of which had to be corduroyed. In our route we 
had captured Columbia, Cheraw, and Fayetteville, important cities 
and depots of supplies ; had compelled the evacuation of Charleston 
City and harbor ; had broken up all the railroads of South Carolina, 
and had consumed a vast amount of food and forage, essential to the 
enemy for the support of his own armies. We had in mid-winter ac- 
complished the whole journey of 425 miles in fifty days, averaging ten 
miles per day, allowing ten lay days, and had reached Goldsboro' with 
the army in superb order, and the trains almost as fresh as when we 
started from Atlanta." 

Lee had not disturbed Sherman during his march, 
and he was assisted by the success of the operations 
of Generals Schofield and Terry against Wilming- 
ton. Together they had a force of about thirty 
thousand men; and, besides capturing Wilmington, 
they had fully occupied the attention of troops that 
might otherwise have concentrated against him. 

The opportunity now offered for the concentra- 
tion against Lee. In preparation for it, it was pro- 
posed to cut Richmond off from all communication 
north of the James River. Most of the Confederate 
troops in the valley of the Shenandoah had been 
sent south, or withdrawn to Richmond to replace 
troops taken from that vicinity. Sheridan was 


Ulysses S. Grant. 


accordingly directed to move against Lynchburg, 
and from there to destroy the railroad and canal so 
completely that it would be of no further use to the 
enemy Thence he was to push on to join Sher- 
man. He had partially completed the work of 
destruction, but was not able to capture Lynch- 
burg, 115 miles west of Richmond, and, instead of 
going south, was compelled to turn off to join the 
Army of the Potomac by the way of White House, 
reaching its lines March 27, 1865. 



MARCH-APRIL, 1 865. 

HEN the spring campaign in Virginia 
opened in March, 1865, Grant was 
holding Lee's army as in a vice in 
front of Richmond and Petersburg; 
Sherman had reached Goldsboro' 
without serious loss, and had there re-enforced his 
armies by the addition of the Army of the Ohio 
under Schofield, this giving him an effective strength 
of 88,948 men. Canby was moving against Mobile, 
which was defended by the Confederate Army under 
General Dick Taylor ; Thomas had sent out two large 
cavalry expeditions, one under Stoneman against 
Lynchburg, and another under Wilson to Alabama, 
and was preparing for offensive operations from 
East Tennessee ; Pope was preparing for a campaign 
against Kirby Smith and Price west of the Missis- 
sippi; and Hancock was gathering a force in the 
vicinity of Winchester, Virginia, to use as necessity 
might require. 

At the end of March, 1865, Grant had under his 



306 Ulysses S. Grant. [1365 

immediate orders 124,700 men of all arms, and Lee 
57,000.* Of nine lines of communication centring 
at Richmond and Petersburg, only two remained 
under Confederate control: the Southside road, 
running west and southwest across Virginia and 
into the State of Tennessee, and the Richmond and 
Danville Railroad, running southwest to the bound- 
ary of North Carolina. These two railways crossed 
each other at Burkesville Junction, sixty miles from 
Richmond and fifty miles west from Petersburg. 
Grant's plan of operations was to extend his lines 
south of Petersburg far enough to the left to secure 
control of these railroads, for this meant the de- 
struction of Lee's army. His extreme left was 
already within a few miles of the Southside road, 
and when he was joined by Sheridan and his cavalry 
he resolved to make a final attempt to cut Lee off 
from further communication with the outside world. 
The fate of the Army of Northern Virginia was 
practically sealed ; the matter of immediate concern 
was to prevent Lee from breaking away, joining 
Johnston, and with him attacking Sherman. Grant 
tells us that he ** spent days of anxiety lest each 
morning should bring a report that the enemy had 

* The muster rolls nearest to this date show the following com- 
parisons : 

Grant, April 30, '65, Lee, Feb. 20, '65. 

Present for duty 116,742 59,588 

Aggregate present 149,889 79,124 

Present and absent 251,737 169,867 

Included in Grant's forces are the Department of Virginia (Ord.) and 
Sheridan's cavalry. Lee's aggregate includes the Department of 
Richmond (Ewell) from 4,013 to 9,456 men. 

1865] Final Campaign, 307 

retreated the night before. " Sherman was confident 
of his ability to withstand the forces of Johnston 
and Lee combined, but even a victory over their 
united armies would not necessarily prevent a move- 
ment to the south which might indefinitely prolong 
the war. 

Orders were given on March 24, 1865, for a gen- 
eral movement around Lee's right flank, so to 
threaten his communications as to compel him to 
come out from behind his intrenchments. Learning 
of his danger, Lee resolved on a counter-movement. 
The point of nearest approach between the two lines 
was at Fort Stedman, a strong work two miles east 
of Petersburg, captured by Grant on June 16, 1864. 
Lee's position suggested the possibility of an assault 
there, and special preparations had been made to 
guard against it. In spite of these precautions, 
Longstreet succeeded in surprising and capturing 
the fort on the night of March 25th, and with it 
a part of the lines to the right and left, turning 
the guns of Fort Stedman on its defenders. The 
assaulting party were mistaken for deserters, who 
were constantly coming in at this point, bringing 
their arms with them. 

The Confederates' success was short-lived. As 
soon as daylight permitted, the fort was retaken 
and a portion of the intrenched picket-line of the 
enemy secured. Thus defeat was turned into vic- 
tory, and an important advantage was gained by 
securing a position from which Wright was able to 
assault and carry the inner line of Confederate 
works a week later. In the contest over Fort Sted- 

oS Ulysses S. Grant. (1865 

man, Lee lost 3515 and Grant 2587, The Confed- 
erate retreat had already been decided upon, but it 
hoped by this attack to delay Grant's move- 
ments long enough to give the roads time to dry for 

the march of Lee's army, and to secure re-enforce- 
ments for it. This purpose failed, for preparations 
the attack ordered on March 24th were continued 
and completed by March 29th. 

At that time the Army of the Potomac, Meade 

mainline;, was stretched in a semicircle around 

i ( • • b 11 The Ninth Corp- under General Parke 

held the lines on the easj of the town, from the 

J unes River to Fort Howard. Next following, and 

south of Petersburg, were the Sixth Corps. Wrights 

Humphreys; and the Fifth Corps, 

Warren. Sheridan'- cavalry, armed with deadly 

repeating-rifles, held the extreme left. Ord had 
been called from the north side of the James with 
three divisions, leaving twenty thousand men under 

Weitzel. to hold the line- of the Army of the 

James. Ord was placed in position near Hatcher's 
Run, in the rear of tin- Sixth Corps. 

Parke and Wright were to hold the lines in front 
n\ Petersbuf iving the reft of the army free for 

an ad\ ment. to be led by Sheridan with 

his cavalry. Rain delayed action until March 31st. 
Then Sheridan moved from Dinwiddle Court-House 
to Five Forks, where he found the enemy in force, 
and fell back slowly before them, making all possible 
resistance and holding ground with great skill and 
tenacity until Dinwiddie Court-House was reached. 
His orders were to draw the enemy out of his in- 

1865] Final Campaign, 309 

trenchments, if possible, and this he succeeded in 
doing. At Dinwiddie, Sheridan was re-enforced by 
Warren's corps, and on April 1, 1865, the cavalry 
and infantry advanced to Five Forks and captured 
that place with its artillery and five or six thousand 
prisoners after a series of attacks and counter-attacks, 
giving hope first to one side and then to the other. 
Five Forks, as this battle is called, was one of the 
most brilliant actions of the war and one of the most 
decisive. It shattered Lee's right and broke his 
attenuated line. " With the advantage here gained 
by the Federal Army," says Lee's biographer, 

Lee's position at Petersburg became untenable, 
and nothing remained but a retreat, either to the 
fortifications about Richmond or to the mountain 
regions to the west." Grant did not at first realise 
the full measure of the advantage gained, and, in 
his anxiety to prevent a concentration on Sheridan, 
ordered a bombardment that night all along his 
front, and an advance against the enemy's works at 
four o'clock the next morning. 

Sunday, April 2d, opened bright and beautiful, 
but the glories of the lovely spring day brought 
no solace to Lee's beleaguered veterans. 

"Our noble beasts," says Longstreet, speaking for the Confed- 
erates, " peered through the loaded air and sniffed the coming battle ; 
night birds fluttered from their startled cover, and the solid pounding 
upon Mahone's defensive walls drove the foxes from their lairs. A 
hundred guns or more added their lightning and thunder to the storm 
of war that carried consternation to thousands of long-apprehensive 
people. The cause was lost, but the end was not yet. The noble 
Army of Northern Virginia, once, twice conqueror of Empire, must 
bite the dust before its formidable adversaries." 

310 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865- 

Advancing to the assault, inspired by the confi- 
dence of victory, Grant's columns broke through all 
along the line of the outer works guarding Peters- 
burg. Their losses were heavy, but the reward was 
sure. At eleven that morning Lee telegraphed to 
Richmond, " I see no prospect of doing more than 
hold our position until night. I am not certain that 
I can do that." 

Grant telegraphed, " The whole captures since 
the army started <>ut will not amount to less than 
twelve thousand men. " 

The victory <>f Five Forla had violently wrenched 
Lee's right from his centre, and his troops were 
fleeing wot in disorder instead of falling back on 
the main body. They were followed sharply and 
threatened on both flanks by Sheridan's cavalry, 
and attacked in front, when they made a stand, by 
a division of infantry sent from Petersburg. After 
a brief battle they broke in confusion, continuing 
their retreat westward along the Appomattox River. 

No sound of the battle that finally broke the 
Confederate line had reached Richmond. The usual 
Sunday observances were occupying the attention of 
the population, and at St. Paul's Church Jefferson 
Davis sat stiff and alone in the " President's pew/1 

As the worshipping congregation rose in response 
to the clergyman's invocation, ' The Lord is in His 
Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before 
Him," the quiet was disturbed by the heavy step of 
an armed courier, who advanced up the aisle to 
Mr. Davis's pew and handed him a despatch. It 
told the story of ruin and despair. Leaving the 

1865] Final Campaign. 311 

church, the Confederate President took prompt 
measures for evacuating Richmond. The city was 
given over to scenes of the wildest panic as the 
news spread. Maddened men, despairing women 
and children, crowded the various avenues of es- 
cape, while the more self-contained residents of the 
doomed city composed themselves to meet with 
becoming fortitude the fate from which there was 
no escape. 

Richmond and Petersburg were evacuated on the 
night of April 2, 1865. Early on the morning of 
the 3d, heavy explosions heard from the direction 
of the Confederate Capitol, and the flames lighting 
the sky in that direction told the Union Army of the 
destruction of public and private property follow- 
ing the retreat from the city. Weitzel's advancing 
columns speedily occupied Richmond, and were 
received as deliverers, for the flight of the Confed- 
erate Army and the Confederate authorities had left 
the people without protection. Mr. Davis and his 
cabinet had taken the train for Danville ; the Legis- 
lature and Governor of Virginia had fled to Lynch- 
burg in a canal boat on the James River Canal ; and 
citizens who had not been able to find a place on the 
crowded cars, or in the vehicles pouring in steady 
streams over the country roads, leading from the 
city, were in a state of helpless fright. Estab- 
lished organisations, military and political, had 
collapsed, and society was resolved into its original 

In accordance with previous orders, fire had beer 
set by the fleeing Confederates to the public ware 

312 Ulysses 5! Grant. ti865 

houses, and from these the flames had extended to 
private buildings. Nine naval vessels lying in the 

James River were blown up; the arsenal was fired, 
and the air was tilled with the sound of exploding 

shells. In all, seven hundred buildings disappeared 
before the advancing flames. Unhappy Richmond 
i over to riot and drunkennc: .n eye- 

witness describes the appearance of a crowd of leap- 
ing, shouting demons in parti-coloured clothes, with 
Is half--!. re the convicts from the 

itentiary, who overcame their guards, set fire to 

the prison, and made their escape into the Streets. 

Plunder w abundant that the mob was for the 

monunt sati '* 1 in various directions 

with i: Through streets filled with rejoicing 

(.anal Weitzel's tro,.ps marched into 

1, res* order and saving the people 

a the n that threatened them, by a gen- 

IS distributi I army rations. All were desti- 

tute, ami among those receiving the relief a few 
days later w . Robert E. Lee and his staff. 

Meanwhile Grant's troo] re following the wild 

flight <>f 1 army toward Danville, and following 

it without >r refreshment by day and by night. 

hoped to join Johnston at Danville with what 

was left of his broken army. The movement was 
first to Amelia Court-House, thence to Burkesville 

Junction, where the railroads from Richmond and 
Petersburg unite. At Amelia Court-House Lee ex- 
pected to find supplies, but they were not th< 
and he was detained twenty-four hours in gathering 
food for his famishing men from the farms near by. 

1865] Final Campaign. 313 

This gave Sheridan an opportunity to head off the 
fleeing enemy at Burkesville. The pursuing army 
was divided into three parts, Sheridan leading the 
advance, Meade following him, and Ord bringing 
up the rear. On the evening of April 4th two sol- 
diers in rebel uniform were brought in as prisoners 
and taken to Grant, who was then with Ord's com- 
mand. One of them took from his mouth a quid of 
tobacco, and from that a small pellet of tinfoil, con- 
taining a tissue note from Sheridan to Grant, asking 
him to come at once to his headquarters. The men 
bringing the note had come straight through the 
enemy's line to save distance. Grant was obliged 
to make a detour of thirty miles; and did not reach 
Sheridan until about midnight. Then he was in- 
formed that Meade had given orders to move on 
Lee's right flank and cover Richmond. This move- 
ment, Sheridan thought, would enable Lee to escape 
toward Johnston ; he wished to move on the left 
flank, interposing between Lee and the road south, 
leaving Richmond to take care of itself, and press- 
ing Lee on his left. Grant coincided with this 
view, and wrote out an order directing the whole 
force to move on the left flank the next morning at 
four o'clock. 

On April 5th, Grant wrote Sherman: 

"Sheridan is up with Lee and reports all that is left, horse, foot, 
and dragoons, at twenty thousand men, much demoralized. We hope 
to reduce this number one-half. I shall push on to Burkesville ; 
and if a stand is made at Danville, will in a few days go there. 
If you can do so, push on from where you are, and let us see if 
we cannot finish the job of Lee and Johnston's armies." 

314 Ufysses S. Grant. [1865 

After a running fight of fourteen miles with the 
whole Army <>t the Potomac in pursuit, Lee was 
brought t«> bay at Sailor's Creek. Here followed a 

series ( >f battles, with a loss to the Confederates <»f 
8000 more prisoners and a large part of their prec- 
ious trains. Kwell's whole force surrendered. l)e- 

1 with Washington i 

Sheridan: "If the thing i^ pressed, I think I. re 
will .surrender." 

Lincoln: " Let the thing he preyed." 
During April (a\\ ami 7th. the pursuit was con- 
tinued with unabated vigour. Immense quantities 
of J • • rtj n^(.\ and destroyed by Lee 

as he fl 

" The I r-v." '.\rtc < Mah.>nc, " beggars iVjW l1|>(llWI. — 

hurrying teamsters with their teams tnd dangling traces 1 -us), 

retreating infantry without guns. . ith<mt hats; a harmless 

•h the massive columns of the enem\ moving orderly on. At 

this spectacle < ieneral Lee straightened himself in his Middle, ami 

dng more the sol.licr than ever, e | as if talking to himself. 

• My God ' bm the iraq d I ' " 

The Confederate 1- during the week num- 

bered : men, and Grant had lost in that time 

,2. The Army of Northern Virginia had not only 

:\ defeated, but destroyed, and General Grant 
Led that it was his duty to relieve himself from 

the responsibility f<>r .1 further and useless loss of 
life. He arrived at Farmville a few miles west of 
Sailor's Creek, Virginia, on April 7th, and estab- 
lished his headquarters on the broad piazza of a vil- 
• tavern. As he sat there, the Sixth Corps 
marched past, hastening to re-enforce a hard-pressed 

18651 Final Campaign. 315 

detachment of cavalry across the Appomattox. The 
air was filled with the notes of victory. Bands 
played, men shouted as they marched, flung their 
muskets into the air, catching them as they fell, 
improvised torches and lighted them at the bonfires 
lining their path. In every possible way they 
sought to testify to their joy that their struggles 
and trials had not been in vain ; that their confi- 
dence in their leader had not been misplaced. 

Grim and silent sat the conqueror; in the hour of 
victory his thought was not of himself but of his 
country; not how he might win honours the soldier 
covets, but how he might so gather the fruits of 
success as to unite in the bonds of brotherhood the 
States now " dissevered, discordant, belligerent." 

A little after nightfall a flag of truce appeared 
under torchlight in front of Mahone's line, bearing 
this note to General Lee : 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, 
5 p.m. April 7, 1865. 

GENERAL R. E. Lee, Commanding Confederate States Army. 

General : The results of the last week must convince you of the 
hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern 
Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my 
duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of 
blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the Confed- 
erate States Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

U. S. Grant, 
Lieutenant-General Commanding Armies of the United States. 

Lee had already been informed by a number of 
his principal officers that further resistance was 

3 16 Ulysses S. Grant. Li 86 5 

hopeless, and that negotiations should be opened 
for surrender. But he wrote in reply on the night 
of the 7th : 

" General : I received your note of this day. Though not enter- 
taining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of further resist- 
ance, on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate 
your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood and, therefore, before 
considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer on condition 
of its surrender." 

Grant was still at Farmville, when this note was 
handed to him early on the morning of April 8th. 
He had slept the night before in the room just 
vacated by Lee. In reply to Lee he wrote a note, 
in which he said : 

" Peace being my great desire, there is but one 
condition I would insist upon, namely, that the men 
and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for tak- 
ing up arms again against the Government of the 
United States until properly exchanged." 

In this letter Grant proposed a meeting to arrange 
terms. Meanwhile the pursuit was resumed ; the 
rear-guard of the enemy was skirmished with; 
twenty-five pieces of artillery and a hospital train 
were captured, and four trains of cars, loaded with 
supplies for Lee's army, were taken on the railroad 
at Appomattox Station. 

It is a curious fact that both Lee and Grant were 
suffering from illness at the time of the negotiation; 
Lee from an attack of rheumatism and Grant from a 
severe sick headache brought on by fatigue and want 
of sleep and nourishment. Though accustomed to 

1865] Final Campaign. 317 

ride from breakfast until two o'clock the next morn- 
ing without food, and subjected much of the time 
to violent exertions, in this case his efforts had 
proved too much for him. He bathed his face in 
hot water, applied mustard plasters, and was lying 
on a sofa trying to get some rest, when he received 
a further note, dated April 8th, in which Lee said : 

" I received at a late hour your note of to-day. In mine of yester- 
day I did not propose to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia, 
but asked the terms of your proposition. To be frank, I do not 
think the emergency has arisen to call for the surrender of this army, 
but as the restoration of peace should be the sole object of all, I desire 
to know whether your proposals would lead to that end. I cannot, 
therefore, meet you with a view to the surrender of the Army of 
\ Northern Virginia ; but, as far as your proposal may affect the Con- 
federate States' forces under my command and tend to the restoration 
of peace, I should be pleased to meet you at 10 a.m. to-morrow on 
the old stage road to Richmond, between the picket lines of the two 

Early the next morning General Grant replied : 

" I have no authority to treat on the subject of peace ; the meeting 
proposed for 10 A.M. to-day could lead to no good. I will state, 
however, General, that I am equally anxious for peace with yourself, 
and the whole North entertains the same feeling. The terms upon 
which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying 
down their arms they will hasten that most desirable event, save 
thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not 
yet destroyed. Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled 
without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself," etc. 

Lee still had hopes. Supposing that there was 
nothing but cavalry in his rear, he endeavoured to 
break through, but found the cavalry supported by 

3 iS Ulysses S. Grant. MB65 

the infantry of Ord and Griffin, who had marched 
thirty miles during the day and night. Genera] 
•don sent word : Tell General Lee I have 
fought my corps to a frazzle, and I fear I can do 
nothing unless I am heavily supported by Long- 
- corps. " 
'■ When I b'»re the mes back to Genera] 

l ." re] ! neral Venable, of his staff, "he 

said, ' Then there is nothing left me but to go and 
G neral Grant, and I would rather die a thou- 
sand d< Genera] Grant was on his way to 
join Sheridan at Appomattox when he received the 
following from Lee, dated April 8th: 

•• vi I rea I 1 1 1 i — morning on the picket 

line, whither I had come to meet v.m and ascertain definitely what 

terms were embraced in ) .">sal ->f yesterday with referent I 

irrander of thii m a-k an interview, in accordance 

with the ur letter of foi that purp> 

Sitting by the wayside, Grant immediately wrote 
in reply : 

"\ te >f this (late is hut this moment fi ired, 

in consequence of my havirv OH the Richmond and I.ynch- 

ie Farmville and Lynchb: • I am at this 

writing about four mih Church, and will push 

forward to the front for the purpose of meeting you. 
to me on this road where you wish the interview to take place, will 
meet me." 

The interview was held at Appomattox Court- 
House; the result is set forth in the following cor- 
respondence : 

1865! Surrender of Lee s Ann y. 319 

Appomattox Court-House, Virginia, 

April 9, 1865. 

General : In accordance with the substance of my letter to you 
of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of 
Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit : Rolls of all the 
officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an 
officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such 
officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their 
individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the 
United States until properly exchanged ; and each company or regi- 
mental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their com- 
mands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and 
stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive 
them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their 
private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be 
allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the United 
States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in 
force where they may reside. 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. 

General R. E. Lee. 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

April 9, 1865. 

General : I have received your letter of this date containing the 
terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia as proposed 
by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in 
your letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to 
designate the proper officers to carry the stipulation into effect. 

R. E. Lee, General. 

Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant. 

The scene of the actual surrender was a two-story 
brick house on the outskirts of the little village of 
Appomattox, occupied by Wilmer McLean. Lee 
was accompanied thither by General Babcock, of 
Grant's staff, who carried to him his General's letter 
consenting to an interview. Grant on his arrival 

320 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865 

entered the house, where he found Lee, who had 
the shorter road to travel, waiting for him. He was 
sitting in a Little room on the left of the broad hall 
running through the middle of the house, in com- 
pany with Colonel Marshall of his staff, and Sheri- 
dan and Ord were waiting in the yard in front of the 
house, Grant entered into pleasant conversation 
with Lee concerning his recollections of the Mexican 
War, AU(.\ the prospects of peace. Finally, the ob- 
ject <>f tluir meeting was suggested by Lee, who 
seemed anxious t<> confine himself as much as pos- 
sible to the pur; f the interview. 

Calling for his manifold order-book, General Grant 

wrote out the terms of surrender. As he wrote his 

fill on the handsome sword worn by General Lee, 

and he added the clause excluding the side-arms of 

the officers, and their private horses or baggage 

from the property to be surrendered. Wiping and 
adjusting his spectacles, General Lee carefully read 
the draft of the letter until he came to the clause 
concerning the property of officers, when his coun- 
tenance lighted up, and, finishing the letter, he said 
with some warmth: This will have a very happy 
effect upon my army. " 

Asked whether he had any suggestions to make, 
Lee called attention to the fact that his cavalrymen 
and artillerymen owned their own horses, and in- 
quired whether they would be permitted to retain 
them. Grant responded that the terms of sur- 
render did not admit of this, to which General Lee, 
after examining the paper again, assented. Then, 
without waiting for a direct request, General Grant 




























1865] Surrender of Lee s Army. 321 

said that he would not change the terms as written, 
but would instruct the officers appointed to receive 
the paroles to let all the men, who claimed to own a 
horse or a mule, take the animals home with them 
to work their little farms. 

General Lee responded: " This will have the best 
possible effect upon the men. It will be very grati- 
fying, and will do much towards conciliating our 

Copies of the letters of surrender were then made 
by Colonel Marshall, who was a grandson of the 
chief justice of that name, and by Col. Ely S. 
Parker, of General Grant's staff, who was a full- 
blooded Indian, a descendant of Red Jacket, and 
through him the inheritor of the position of Chief 
of the Six Nations. Lee next asked that he should 
be supplied with rations for his famishing men, who 
for several days had had nothing to eat but a little 
parched corn. This request, which had been made 
in a whispered conversation between the two chiefs, 
was promptly granted. 

Calling his officers about him, General Grant said, 
as Gen. George H. Sharpe of his staff reports, " You 
go on to the Twenty-fourth, and you to the Fifth," 
and so on, naming the corps, " and ask every man 
who has three rations to turn over two of them. 
Go to the commissaries, go to the quartermasters; 
General Lee's army is on the point of starvation! ' 
And thus twenty-five thousand rations were carried 
to the Army of Northern Virginia. 

The Army a0me Potomac had, at this time, so 
nearly exhausted its own supplies that it could 


22 Ulysses S. Grant, H865 

not have followed Lee another day, but would have 
been compelled to fall back on Danville to open 
communication with its rear, if the surrender had 
been further delayed. 

During the interview, the Union officers were pre- 
sented to Lee, who had known some of them in 
former days. They sought to be as conversational 
and pleasant as possible, but their advances were 
received with cold formality, General Lee shaking 
hands and conversing with only one of them, Gen- 
eral Williams, who was his adjutant when Lee was 
Superintendent at West Point before the war. Who 
could fail to be gracious to gentle-hearted Seth 

The contrast between the two chief actors in this 
historical scene at Appomattox was striking and 
significant. Lee was Grant's senior by thirteen 
years, and v uluated from the Military Acad- 

emy fourteen years before him. I lis entire training 
had been in the military service, and he represented 
the exclusive element of the old army, who consid- 
ered that deportment was as essential to a military 
character as a uniform. His dignity and reserve 
well became his handsome presence, and he looked 
every inch the soldier. 

Grant, who was thoroughly democratic in all his 
ideas and ways, was dressed on this occasion in a 
plain and well-worn uniform, and wore an enlisted 
man's overcoat covered with the dust of travel. 
Having no sword, he felt it necessary to explain 
that he seldom wore one. He had found, like 
many other officers, that it was a useless weapon 

1865] Surrender of Lees Army. 323 

and a serious encumbrance in riding long distances 
by day and night. The triple stars shining upon 
his shoulders were all that indicated his rank, and 
Nhe looked more like a Missouri farmer than the gen- 
eral-in-chief of a great army, and the ablest and 
most successful of living soldiers."-' 

Grant represented the principles of equality and 
human brotherhood that make America what she is; 
Lee was the type of a departing era, destined hence- 
forth to take its place with the expiring traditions 
of royal and aristocratic pretension. But no Bayard 
of romance could have borne himself with more 
knightly consideration for a fallen foe than did the 
plain man, whose action, not his dress, so well 
became him on an occasion giving such oppor- 
tunity for the display of the littleness and self- 
assertion of a small mind, or the greatness and 
self-forgetfulness of a noble soul. 

The thought uppermost with General Grant 
seemed to be sympathy for the hard fortune of his 
fellow-soldier. So far as concerned General Lee, 
everything was forgotten except that he was an 
alumnus of the same institution; a comrade of the 
same battlefields in distant Mexico. Most fortunate 
for the country was it that this spirit of comrade- 
ship was the controlling influence in this scene so full 
of the possibilities of bitterness. How different 
might have been the result, had Lee's surrender 
been received by some spectacular general, playing 
to the galleries, and anxious to add the sting of 
humiliation to the pangs of defeat ! 

The spirit that controlled General Grant deter- 

324 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865 

mined the action of those about him. Finding that 
his soldiers were preparing to celebrate their vic- 
tory, he gave orders that no salutes should be fired, 
and as 900U as the surrender was completed the two 
armies were mingling together in friendly inter- 
course. Among the officers old comrades exchanged 
objections of their experiences together before 

the war, or discussed the battles in which they had 
borne a gallant part as foes seeking each others' 

II. J. Hunt, Grant's Chief of Artillery, who had 
.it West Point instructed in artillery Colonel Alex- 
ander of the Confederate service, sought him out, 
and, in the course <>f their conversation pleasantly 

chaffed him because he had not followed the maxims 

of his preceptor in handling his guns at Gettys- 
burg. Among the enlisted men the " Yanks " and 

the " Johnny Rebs," who. in spite of war, had been 

tomed to friendly interchanges between the 

picket lines, came ur in still closer fellowship 

as fellow-countrymen once moi 

Everybody was happy; even the surrendered 
Confederates, who were receiving the first full meal 

they had had in many days, were in a measure con- 
soled for the bitterness of their defeat by the reflection 
that their struggles were over, and that they could 
now return in peace to their homes and families. 

The wave of rejoicing that swept over the coun- 
try when the news of Lee's surrender was carried 
with the swiftness of the lightning's flash to every 
city and hamlet, will never be forgotten by those 
who witnessed it. Bells were pealing, bonfires blaz- 

1865] Surrender of Lee s Army. 325 

ing, orators declaiming, and from many a quiet fire- 
side that night went up the prayer of thanksgiving 
that the days of strife and bloodshed were at last at 
an end ; and that Rachel would be called upon no 
more to mourn for her children. 

Apparently the least moved of all the actors in 
that scene was the General-in-Chief. Gen. Horace 
Porter, of his staff, to whose description of the sur- 
render in the Battles and Leaders of the Civil War I 
am much indebted, tells us that when Grant returned 
to his camp that night, his first words were addressed 
to Gen. Rufus Ingalls, to whose genius as a quarter- 
master he owed so much : 

"'Ingalls, do you remember that old white mule that so-and-so 
used to ride when we were in the City of Mexico ? ' ' Why perfectly,' 
said Ingalls, who was just then in a mood to remember the exact 
number of hairs in the mule's tail if it would have helped to make 
matters agreeable. And then the General-in-Chief went on to recall 
the antics played by that animal during an excursion to Popocatapetl. 
It was not until after supper that he said much about the surrender, 
when he talked freely of his entire belief that the rest of the rebel 
commanders would follow Lee's example, and that we should have 
but a little more fighting even of a partisan nature. He then sur 
prised us by announcing his intention of starting to Washington early 
the next morning." 

The proposed visit to Washington was delayed 
until the succeeding day. Grant and Lee had an- 
other interview with reference to the details of the 
surrender, and Grant was visited by Gen. Cadmus 
M. Wilcox, who had been his groomsman when he 
was married, by Longstreet, who had been at his 
wedding, and by scores of his late antagonists who 
had called to pay their respects, and were received 
with great cordiality. 



i >UT. 

APRIL MAY, i S65. 

|T .' mattox ended what must be 

admitted to I »f the most re- 

markal In history, when 

osider the magnitude of the 

f, d, the skill with which 

they were handled fol I defence, and the 

raphica) difficulties to be overcome. To m< 

150,000 men in such a countiy, in constant contact 
with an enemy, was in itself no small (eat of arms. 
Advancing from base to base, with flanks exposed, 

and extending his line of communication with each 
advan< mt had kept his enemy on the move 

from one strongly intrenched position to another, 

holding him in place until he was himself ready to 
attack, and never giving him the advantage of the 

initiative. He had defended Washington, and suc- 
coured Sherman and Sheridan, not by weakening 
his own army, but by keeping that of Lee so con- 
stantly occupied that, in spite of its interior lines 



18651 Collapse of the Confederacy. 327 

and intrenched positions, it finally fell exhausted — 
<4 fought to a frazzle." 

" More scientific methods might have accom- 
plished the same result, with less loss of life," do I 
hear some one say ? Had not every method been 
tried in the same field without any result, except to 
temporarily change the relative positions of the two 
armies ? From the time he crossed the Rapidan, 
May 4, 1864, to the surrender of Appomattox, 
April 9, 1865, Grant had lost 124,390 men in killed, 
wounded, and missing. These losses, with the ex- 
ception of about one thousand men, were incurred 
in eight months of active campaigning, nothing 
being attempted during the three winter months of 
1864-65. From the time McClellan opened the 
siege of Yorktown, April 5, 1862, until Grant as- 
sumed command in Virginia two years later, the 
same period of time had been devoted to active field 
work, long intervals of inaction occurring between 
the several campaigns. McClellan, Pope, Burnside, 
Hooker, and Meade had each essayed in the same 
field the work Grant carried to a triumphant con- 
clusion, and together they had lost 139,751 men 
without accomplishing it. 

The following figures are given on the authority 
of the Board of Publication of the Official Records 
of the Rebellion : 

McClellan, April 5-August 8, 1862 24,448 

Pope, June 26-September 2, 1862 10,955 

McClellan, September 3-November 14, 1862 28,577 

Burnside, November 15, 1862-January 25, 1863 13,214 

Hooker, January 26-June 27, 1863 25,027 

Meade, June 28, 1863-May 4, 1864 31,530 

Grand aggregate I39.75* 


28 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865 

Grant* combined armies (Potomac and James) May j, 
1SO4- April 9, /S6j : 

May ;-June 24 — Army of the Potomac, Ranidan to James, 54,926 

May 5-June 14 — Army of the James, south of James River, 6,215 

June 15-July 31 — Army Potomac ami Army lames 22,936 

Augnst : lb€X 31 — Army Potomac ami Army James.. 24,621 
Janu.iryi- A] :nac, Army of the James 

an : tlry 15,692 

( ir.ui'i •ggrcgatc 124,390 

Tl rea will appear leas formidable, if wc 

ill the fact that in the single battle of Koniggr&tz, 
oi S a, the Austrian*, In July, 1866, lost 40,000 
out of .1 total f< oo, and in the campaign 

of two months, 84,051. of which total, 10,994 w 
killed and 29,300 wounded! During the Franco- 
man war, th G rmans lost 17,000 of the fa>. 000 
•1 they carried into battle .it Vtonville, or Mara la 
Tom a larger relative loss than that experien* 

1 ant in any one o( his Virginia battles, and 
nearly equalling, in the actual total, bis loss in the 
bloody battle of the Wil 

The \ of Antietam and Gettysburg, im- 

I they were, had b .lined by armies in 

retreat and acting on the defensive on Northern 

soil. Aside from their grand results in staying the 

Confederate invasion, they brought the 

Uni -i . n • 1 u sn r to fi nal vi< tory, When ( rrant took 
command, the Army of the Potomac was within 
thirty miles of the original battlefield of Hull Run, 
and had been resting there for five months after 
unsuccessfully attempting' at Mine Run substan- 
tially the same movement as the one that led to the 
battle of the Wildernea There was nothing to 

1865] Collapse of the Confederacy. 329 

indicate that the contest might not continue indefi- 
nitely ; Richmond had not been captured, and the 
Army of Northern Virginia was relatively stronger 
than it was when McClellan advanced against it on 
the Yorktown Peninsula. Grant, with a smaller loss 
in battle, had pulverised the Confederacy. 

When other losses are taken into account, the 
contrast between Grant's campaign in Virginia and 
those preceding it becomes still more striking. The 
statistics of the war show that for every man killed 
by the missiles of the enemy, two died of disease; 
and the discharges from various causes, the resigna- 
tions and desertions, taken together, exceed by one- 
half the total of wounded and missing.* 

Grant understood perfectly the significance of 
these facts. He knew that where he lost two men 
in action within a given time he lost three from 
other casualties, and that a campaign of rapidly 
succeeding engagements that hastened the end, was 
economical in men as well as in treasure. No criti- 
cism upon Grant is more unjust than the one that 
accused him of being a " butcher." Not only did 
he accomplish great results, but, taking everything 
into the account, he was far more saving of his 
men than were those who had preceded him in the 
same field, and who expended men in double ratio, 
without bringing the war one step nearer to its end. 

* These are figures reported in Phisterer's Statistical Record. 
Killed in battle and died of wounds, 93,443 ; died of disease, 186,- 
216; wounded in action, 280,040; missing and captured, 184,791 ; 
discharged for disability, 285, 245 ; honourably discharged 174, 578 ; 
dishonourably discharged, 5,398 ; resigned, 22,281 ; deserted, 189,045. 

$$o Ulysses s. Grant. M865 

When Grant was promoted to the supreme com- 
mand, the Confederates held SkX),ooo square miles 
of territory, and they had 400,000 men on their 
muster rolls. Even the territory previously se- 
cured by the Union troops in the Southern States 
was held by no certain tenure; a large force was 
constantly occupied in guarding it and protecting 
the communications of the armies in the held from 
the attack of enterprising guerillas and raiding 

. airy. 

Within oiv r all of this immense territory, 

thanks t<> General Grant's policy <>f concentration 

and persistent fighting, had conn- under tin- control 

of th< G rni I W.i bin *■ >n, The last ( Ion- 

fed* .' toldier had passed through the Caudine 
I ner of war. Thus wa a< complished 

tin- result which foreign "1> had from tin- first 


The chief actor in tin- its had been Lieut. - 

Grant, and the important part he 

had played in bringing about the grand result was 
universally recognised. In tin- North In- was almost 
worshipped .is the saviour <»f tin- Union, and in the 
ith he w. membered as the generous con- 
queror, who, in the hour of triumph, had not forgot- 
ten that the vanquished were his fellow-countrymen. 
To him, more than to any other man, was due the 
fact that immediately upon tin- close of the war, a 
spirit of affiliation sprang up between the two armies 
which has no parallel in the world's history. 

Following the surrender at Appomattox, events 
moved swiftly to the end. After leaving Richmond 

1865] Collapse of the Confederacy. 331 

on April 3, 1865, Jefferson Davis proceeded to Dan- 
ville with the principal officers and archives of his 
government, and made a show of re-establishing his 
capital there. On April 5th he issued a proclama- 
tion to the Southern peopk, declaring that Virginia 
would " be held and defended, and no peace ever 
made with the infamous invaders of her soil." The 
news of Lee's surrender immediately followed, and 
the broken remains of the Richmond government 
were again in full flight to Greensboro', North 

There was no certainty at this time that General 
Johnston would surrender. Before leaving City 
Point, Grant had sent Sherman information of the 
surrender of Lee, and authorised him to give the 
same terms to Johnston. During Sherman's visit 
to Grant at City Point, on March 29th, arrange- 
ments had been made for a movement from Golds- 
boro' northwards, on April 10th. Receiving news 
on April 6th that Lee was retreating southwards and 
was expecting to make a stand at Danville, Virginia, 
Sherman set his troops in motion as speedily as pos- 
sible on the march for that place. At Smithfield, 
North Carolina, half-way between Goldsboro' and 
Raleigh, where he arrived on April 11, 1865, he 
learned that Johnston, whom he had expected to 
find there, had retreated to Raleigh, and that Lee's 
army had surrendered. Pushing on to Raleigh, 
twenty-seven miles away, he arrived there Thurs- 
day, April 13th, and the next day received a letter 
from Johnston opening negotiations for surrender. 
These negotiations resulted in a written agreement 

332 Ulysses S. Gra?it. [1865 

__^_ , 

on April 18, 1865, General Johnston availing him- 
self of the opportunity meanwhile to consult with 
Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet. 

President Lincoln had visited City Point three 
weeks before; reviewed, amid wild enthusiasm, the 
troops marching in pursuit of Lee's army; visited 
the captured cities of Petersburg and Richmond, 
and consulted with Grant and Sherman as to terms 
of surrender. Sherman had reason to suppose that 
he understood the policy of the Administration, and 
he endeavoured to cany it out in good faith. But, 
when his agreement with Johnston reached the cap- 
ital, Lincoln was no longer there to receive it. He 
had fallen a victim to the assassin on April 12th, and 
Andrew Johnson was President, with Secretary 
Stanton as his vicercgent. Sherman's agreement 
with Johnston was sharply disapproved of, and he 
\v,h placed before the country in a most unwelcome 

Anxious to settle the difficulty with the least fric- 
tion, and with a considerate regard for the feelings 
of his friend and subordinate, Grant resolved to 
carry the Government's disapproval of Sherman's 
convention to Raleigh in person. He arrived at 
Raleigh on the evening of April 24th, and instructed 
Sherman to give Johnston the forty-eight hours' 
notice, required by the terms of the truce agreed 
upon with him, and then to proceed to attack or 
follow him without delay. Johnston was notified of 
the termination of the truce, and at the same time 
his surrender was demanded on the terms granted 
to General Lee. This resulted in another interview 

1865] Collapse of the Confederacy, 333 

with General Johnston, and the surrender of his 
army on April 26, 1865, upon the terms and condi- 
tions previously granted to Lee. Grant's nice re- 
gard for the feelings of Sherman was further shown 
in his despatch to Washington, saying, " Johnston 
has surrendered to Sherman," ignoring his own 
agency in the matter. 

JefiWson Davis had not waited to learn the result 
of Johnston's negotiations with Sherman. With a 
few followers belonging to the civil government at 
Richmond, and a small escort of troops, he pursued 
his flight southward, intending to continue it be- 
yond the Mississippi River, and gather there the 
scattered wrecks of the Confederacy to make an- 
other stand for freedom — and slavery. But the 
soldiers had had quite enough of fighting, if the 
civilians had not. Gradually Davis's military escort 
fell away from him, and with them the faithful few 
who had determined to follow his fortunes. He now 
changed his plans, and decided to fly to Florida, 
and there take a sailing-vessel for Texas. But the 
new Administration at Washington had resolved to 
treat him as a felon, and the " hue and cry " was 
out. On May 10, 1865, he was surprised by Union 
cavalry, in the grey of the morning, in his camp in 
the depths of a pine forest near Irwinsville, Georgia, 
taken to Fort Monroe, and held a prisoner there 
for two years. 

Thus disappeared the hope of the Confederacy ; its 
last flickering flame dying out when its chief yielded 
to the inevitable demand of fate. The result was 
hastened by the vigorous action of the cavalry 

334 U/yssrs S. Grant. U865 

forces under Gen. J. II. Wilson, who, as he swept 
in a masterly march across the States of Alabama 
and Florida, with twelve thousand mounted men, 

closed in finally on the fleeing representatives of 

the Richmond government, and made impossible 
Dai plan of renewing the contest beyond the 
Mississippi River. 

On May 4, 1865, Gen, Richard Taylor surren- 
der neral Canby all the Confederate for< 

I the Mississippi. Those west of the Missis- 
sippi were surrendered, May 26th, by Gen. Kirby 
Smith. There v.. is. then, a general " round up" of 

all the Con: . including the detached 

mid J«>n< '* l< ■!! Thompson," 
and others. General Canby completed his opera- 
it M ioilS to the surrender, and se- 
cured possession of that city <>n the mornin- : 
April Th- h there were 

ountersal different points up to May 13th, when 

tome troops in distant 1 K3Li had .1 -mall 1 - nunt. 

Without waiting to visit Richmond or to celebrate 

his triumph. General Grant, on the second day 

after 1 turrender, had hastened to Washington, 

to consult with the authorities there, and to arrange 

for th< ition of recruitil id the reduction of 

the expei rovernment, amounting at that 

time to four million-. r,f d. hilars a day. He arrived 
in Washington on April 12. 1865, and immediately 
opened communication with his subordinate com- 
manders in regard to the change of situation result- 
ing from the surrender of Lee. 

By the 14th of the month, the General was suf- 

1865] Collapse of llic Confederacy. 335 

ficiently at leisure to plan a visit, with Mrs. Grant, to 
their children who were attending school at Burling- 
ton, New Jersey. That day he attended the regular 
Cabinet meeting at the Executive mansion, where 
the subject of governing the Southern States was 

The President and Mrs. Lincoln had accepted an 
invitation to attend Ford's Theatre that night, and 
General and Mrs. Grant were invited to accompany 
them, but declined the invitation, and started by 
the evening train for Burlington. At the Broad 
Street Ferry in Philadelphia General Grant was 
handed despatches informing him of the assassin- 
ation of the President, and requesting his immediate 
presence in Washington. He returned without 
delay by special train, and found the city, which 
had been illuminated thirty-six hours before in 
honour of his victory, now shrouded in mourning. 
His own heart was filled with grief, for he knew 
that President Lincoln's disposition was in accord 
with his own generous purposes towards the South, 
and he distrusted his successor in office, Mr. John- 
son, who had shown much bitterness of feeling 
towards the Southern people in speeches and con- 
versation. '* I felt," he said, " that reconstruction 
had been set back, no telling how far." Booth's 
plot included the assassination of Grant, as the 
General learned from an anonymous letter sent by 
a repentant conspirator, who followed him to Phila- 
delphia, but could not reach him because the door 
of his private car was locked. 

The promptness and completeness of Grant's work 

336 Ulysses S. Grant. U865 

in closing up the war was shown by a reduction of 
93 per cent, in the military budget during a single 
year; or, from (51 1 to $339814,461. The 

Union Army, at the time of I.' e's surrender, mim- 
ed one million men. including all on the rolls, 
with 6 nt for duty. This force was dis- 

tributed through twenty-six armies and departments, 
from Maine I .fornia. Four days after the sur- 

render of Lee, notice was given that all drafting 
and recruiting and the purchase of supplies would 

d. Within Less than -i.\ months from that 
tune most of the officers and men had received their 

discharge and wrere on the way to their horni 

B with them th< rd of honourable ser- 

vice, and having had the advantage of military 
training, with its ideas <>f discipline and order, the 
discharged veteran dily absorbed into the 

■ f DOpulatii »n. an . to industrial, 

1 prof* d enterprises in all parts 

of the country a new im; by their zeal and 

If they fond <>f recalling tin- days 

when they fought Und< :t, they never fo: 

that they w< ens d< I to the pursuits 

of J Their conduct completely answered the 

f those at h nd abroad, who had prophe- 

! evil to the Republic because of the transform- 
ation 1 I J • portion of its citizens into 
soldie: the time bein They furnished the 
nation with presidents, with cabinet officers, with 
jud. Supreme Court, and other judicial offi- 
cer The present Chief Magistrate of the Repub- 
lic, McKinley, is one who as a youth bore a musket 


1865] Mustering Out. 2>2>7 

in the ranks. In all departments of public adminis- 
tration, in the Federal and State governments, in 
Congress and State legislatures, the discharged 
soldiers were found performing their duty in loyal 
recognition of the supremacy of the civil over the 
military authority. In the spirit of their great 
leader they banished all bitterness from their hearts, 
and received their old antagonists, wherever they 
met them, with fraternity and good-will, and with the 
respect which the true soldier never fails to accord 
to those who have had a like experience of the trials 
and dangers, the comradeship and good-fellowship 
of the field and the camp. 

The experience of the Southern soldiers was not 
unlike this. They, too, rapidly dispersed to their 
homes, carrying with them the story of generous 
treatment. Those who were held as prisoners of 
war (98,802) were furnished with transportation at 
the expense of the Federal Government. All but a 
few thousand of these were captured after General 
Grant took command as Lieutenant-General. In 
addition, 174,223 Confederate officers and men sur- 
rendered, and were paroled in the closing days of 
the war. One thousand six hundred and eighty-six 
cannon and nearly one hundred thousand small 
arms were part of the spoils of victory. 

Before the curtain finally fell upon the great 
drama of the war the armies of Grant and Sherman, 
who had conquered a glorious peace, passed in 
review at Washington before the President of the 
United States, and the Lieutenant-General, in front 
of the executive mansion, May 23 and 24, 1865. 

32>$ Ulysses S. Grant. L1865 

Fine weather favoured this spectacle, and as the 

veteran^, two hundred thousand strong, marched 
down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the 

White House, to the .sound of martial music, and 
carrying their battle-rent flags, spectators, who had 
gathered at Washington from all parts of the Union, 
filled the windows and occupied the streets along 
the line of the march, rending the air with their 
joyous shouts. 

The roads w( od; the troops, under the pros- 

f release from hard toil and the restraints of 

Service, were in high spirits; the columns marched 

well ; the streets w< and animated 

with life, and the children of the .schools, in blue 

ami white. I the returned heroes of the pro- 

:i with inspiring songs and pretty ceremonies. 

Bann and mottoes of praise decorated the houses. 

Flowers were tlung from every direction Upon the 
Column; they decorated the torn flags, the bayonets 
which had SO often been hurried to the murderous 
charge, and the rumbling field-pieces from whose 
black muzzles death had so often hurtled. Hands 
led the avenue with music, the horses pranced, 
ambulances rattled, the artillery rumbled and clanged 
on heavy wheels, the drums ruffled salutes, and the 

bres and bay 'lashed in the sunlight. 

It was a wonderful display of martial strength; 
:id as a spectacle; solemn in its significance; tell- 
ing the story of peace conquered through war; of a 
new union of the States, cemented with the blood 
of patriotism and self-sacrifice. The bronzed faces 
testified to the exposure and hardships of the cam- 

1865J Mustering Out 339 

paign ; the thinned ranks and the tattered ensigns 
were eloquent with their story of battles lost and 
victories won. Yet in the hour of triumph and 
rejoicing many hearts grew heavy as they thought 
of those who would no more march with the Grand 
Army of the Republic; whose glorious youth had 
been offered as a willing sacrifice to the cause of 
their country. 

The soldiers reviewed at Washington had marched 
to the Capital from their camps in Virginia and 
North Carolina; the men of Sherman's army having 
made a circuit of nearly a thousand miles. All had 
been mustered out of the service before the review, 
and after it they were distributed to fifty depots 
throughout the country, where they received their 
final pay, and scattered to their homes. Thus, 
within two months, 800,963 men in arms were re- 
leased from military restraint and returned to civil 
life, without any one of them committing an act of 
lawlessness to disgrace his uniform. 

General Sheridan was not present at the grand 
review, having been sent with one hundred thousand 
men into Texas to prevent the possibility of the 
smouldering embers of the Rebellion flaming up 
there, and more especially to act as an army of 
observation along the Rio Grande frontier. Taking 
advantage of our preoccupation with war, the Aus- 
trian Grand Duke, Maximilian, aided by the Em- 
peror Napoleon III., had endeavoured to transform 
Mexico into a foreign empire. This was regarded 
as a menace to the United States, and General 
Grant held that the advent of Maximilian to the 


U/ysses S. Grant. 


pretended throne of Mexico, was a part of the 
Rebellion; and that his immediate expulsion should 
be a part of its history. 

Re-enforced by this display of strength on the 
frontier, our Department of State succeeded in 
securing an agreement for the withdrawal of the 
French troops under Marshal Bazaine. Deprived 

of their support, the empire- of Maximilian fell into 
ruins, and the amiable but misguided young Arch- 
duke answered with his life for his error in defying 
the traditions Of American independence of Kuro- 

in control, [n August, 1865, the order was given 

to muster <>ut the troops under Sheridan, and they, 

too. were returned to their hom< atly t<> their 

satisfaction, for there had been much complaint 
bee. f the prolor of the service of th< 

who enlisted for the war only. 




HE close of the War of the Rebellion 
found General Grant universally rec- 
ognised as the Chief Citizen of the 
Republic. The knowledge of his 
name and fame had reached every 
household, North and South, and his voice was 
more potential in public affairs than that of any 
living American. It was a dangerous eminence; 
subjecting him to the jealousies of some, to the 
intrigue and flattery of others, who sought to use 
his great reputation to promote political or personal 

Among the chief conspirators against his peace 
was Andrew Johnson, who had succeeded to the 
Presidency on the death of Lincoln. Commencing 
his life at the South as a tailor's ignorant apprentice, 
who had not even learned to read and write until he 
was nearly of age, Johnson was held in contempt 
by the leaders of public opinion in his own section. 


34 2 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865- 

Their hostility to him as a "poor white" was in- 
tensified by the fact that he had taken an active 
part in sustaining the Government during the war. 
He displayed an equal bitterness of spirit in return, 
saying, while Vice-President, in a speech denounc- 
ing the Southern Rebellion, " Show me who have 
been engaged in these conspiracies, and, were I 
President of the United States, by the Eternal God, 
I would execute them." 

The liberality of General Grant's terms at Appo- 
mattox did not meet with universal approval. Mr. 
Johnson lodged a formal protest against them with 
President Lincoln, declaring that Lee should have 
been seized and confined, pending instructions from 
Washington. There was an influential party in 
Congress and throughout the country, who held 
with the Vice-President that " treason should be 
made odious." They reasoned that at least the 
leaders of the South should be subjected to pun- 

An attempt was made to try Jefferson Davis for 
treason. Mrs. Davis appealed to Grant, who could 
not interfere if he wished to do so, as Davis was not 
included in the surrender at Appomattox. He did, 
however, use his influence to mitigate the hardships 
of his imprisonment. But when Gen. Robert E. 
Lee applied to him for protection against civil pros- 
ecution, his soldierly sense of honour was touched. 
He flamed up with an indignation he rarely dis- 
played, declaring that if the terms he had given Lee 
and his army were not respected, he would resign 
his commission and appeal to the country. Scores 

1868] Chief Citizen of the Republic. 343 

of other Southern officers, who were included in the 
terms of his surrender, were also protected. 

'When can these men be tried?" asked the 

" Never," was the answer, " unless they violate 
their paroles." 

And they never were tried ; for the stubborn 
President had encountered a will even stronger 
than his own, an influence paramount to that of the 
Chief Magistrate. Many civilians, as well as many 
soldiers, were saved from imprisonment and confis- 
cation by the interposition of Grant. His gene- 
rosity awakened a very warm feeling for him in the 
South, as was shown when in November, 1865, he 
visited Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, 
and Tennessee, and reported on the condition of 
those States, and the feeling of the Southern people. 

He declared that the mass of thinking men at the 
South accepted the situation at that time in good 
faith, but advised that a military force should be 
retained there until society was reorganized and a 
stable civil government secured. 

The policy of President Johnson, so far as it 
revealed itself, seemed to be to strike terror into the 
hearts of the South by punishing its conspicuous 
leaders, or at least to compel them to appeal to him 
for the exercise, on their behalf, of his prerogative 
of pardon. He proposed to treat the South as a 
whole with the utmost liberality ; at once admit- 
ting the States lately in rebellion to a complete 
control of their own affairs ; permitting them to be 
represented in Congress, and making them in every 

344 Ulysses S. Grant. [1855- 

way as independent of Federal authority as the 
States which had loyally sustained the Government 
during the four years of war. He held, moreover, 
that the work of reconstruction was under the ex- 
clusive control of the Executive, and that it was his 
province to determine who should, and who should 
not, be suffered to participate in it. 

This brought the President into disagreement 
with the law-makers, who were not willing to con- 
cede this extent of authority to the Chief Magis- 
trate; fearing to restore the Southern States to 
their full right as independent communities, with- 
out a guaranty as to their acceptance of the results 
of the war, and as to their future good behaviour. 
Various theories concerning the status of the South 
prevailed, the most extreme being that held by Mr. 
Sumner and by Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, who urged 
the doctrine of State suicide, and contended that all 
that was left of the States lately in insurrection was 

men and dirt." 

There were differences of opinion in Congress, 
but the ruling sentiment was in favour of taking 
entire control of the government of the late Confed- 
erated States, where the machinery of civil adminis- 
tration was in a state of collapse and society in 
chaos. The negroes had ceased to be slaves, but 
they had not yet become free men, and there was 
no guaranty that they might not be subjected to 
some new form of oppression. The South was filled 
with disbanded soldiers, who were without occupa- 
tion ; universal poverty had followed the long and 
exhausting war; doubt and distrust prevailed; and 

18681 Chief Citizen of the Republic. 345 

the very foundations of co-operation and control in 
organised society had been shaken. Communities 
without a recognised leadership, except that which 
had arrayed the South in hostility to Federal au- 
thority, were called upon to settle most perplexing 
problems as to the new relations between whites and 
blacks ; between the rich whites and the poor whites ; 
between the landowners and the landless ; between 
those who had obtained favour at Washington by 
their claim of sympathy with Union sentiment, and 
those who had staked everything upon the destruc- 
tion of the Union. 

The struggle to maintain the Union had been in- 
augurated on the theory that it was a war to sup- 
press an insurrection against Federal authority ; not 
a war between independent States, which left the 
vanquished at the mercy of the victor. It logically 
followed from this theory that when the contest 
ended, the Southern States were as free to take part 
in the affairs of the Government that was to judge 
their default, as if they had never questioned its 
authority. Mr. Johnson pushed this theory so far 
as to encourage hopes that the Confederates might 
regain by the ballot what they had lost by their rash 
appeal to arms, and with the help of Northern allies 
secure control of the Government. This, it was be- 
lieved, involved the repudiation of the debt incurred 
in the prosecution of the war, or, at least, the recog- 
nition of the debt of the Confederacy, as equally 
binding; the recognition of the Confederate soldiers 
as having equal rights with the Union soldiers in 
the payment of pensions, and the payment of the 

346 Ulysses S. Grant [1865- 

Southerners for their negroes set free by emancipa- 
tion. It was further feared that the theory of negro 
inequality would be pushed to such an extent as to 
re-establish slavery in some form. As a matter of 
fact, one Southern State after another passed laws 
designed to perpetuate the scheme of enforced 
labour by establishing a system of apprenticeship, 
more heartless and cruel than slavery had ever been, 
and lacking the ameliorating features of the " patri- 
archal institution/' 

Congress took the alarm, and differences of opin- 
ion in the Republican party, which controlled that 
body by a large majority, were reconciled by a 
common sentiment of hostility to the Presidential 
scheme of reconstruction. Southern States had 
taken advantage of the liberty granted them to elect 
senators and representatives, and the feeling against 
the President was heightened by the appearance at 
the doors of Congress of what were known as " un- 
reconstructed rebels," arrogantly demanding to be 
admitted, not as a matter of favour, but as a con- 
stitutional right. 

This resulted in the passage of a series of enact- 
ments designed to restrict the power of the President 
to an extent that was not, in his opinion, and in the 
opinion of his supporters, justified by the Constitu- 
tion. These laws were one after another vetoed 
by the President, and passed over his veto by the 
necessary two-thirds majority. To secure its own 
ascendancy, Congress determined not only to hold 
the Southern States under probation, but to ex- 
clude the President practically from all share in the 

1868] His Perplexities. 347 

making of laws, and to compel him under his oath 
of office to execute enactments against which he 
solemnly protested, as not only inexpedient but un- 

In spite of himself, Grant was drawn into the 
controversy between the President and Congress. 
With the purely political questions he had nothing 
to do, but he was forced to decide whether he 
would obey laws imposing upon him specific duties, 
or suspend them at the behest of the President, 
who, as the constitutional Commander-in-Chief, was 
his superior officer. The President made the situa- 
tion more difficult by seeking to persuade Grant to 
assume the responsibility for acts he was not willing 
to order in writing when requested to do so. An 
ambitious and intriguing politician, Johnson was 
much more than a match for the single-minded 
soldier in artfulness and craft. By various subtle 
methods he sought to entangle the General in his 
controversies with Congress, to make use of his 
popularity to aid him in carrying out policies ob- 
noxious to public sentiment, and to protect the 
President from the consequences of the opposition 
he had aroused. 

To add still further to his embarrassment, John- 
son compelled General Grant, by the pressure of 
earnest personal solicitation, to accompany him on 
a journey through the Northern States, during which 
he indulged in the most unseemly assaults upon 
Congress. Wherever the President went, enthusi- 
astic crowds demanded to see and hear the great 
soldier who was in his company. Grant presented 

348 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865- 

himself in answer to the calls for him that greeted 
the Presidential train wherever it stopped, but he 
refused to speak, partly because he could not, and 
partly because he wished to keep in seclusion as 
much as possible. His situation was very uncom- 
fortable ; and when a fortunate indisposition en- 
abled him to plead the excuse of illness, he left the 
uncongenial society of Johnson and his supporters. 

Nor was Grant wholly in sympathy with Con- 
gress, for they enacted or proposed measures to 
which he could not give unqualified approval. His 
report upon the condition of the South had been 
denounced by the impetuous Senator Sumner as a 

white-washing " document, and it excited sharp 
criticism from others of the dominant party in 

President Johnson, who continued to make a 
display of good-will toward Grant, was continually 
seeking to bend him to his purposes. He was not 
satisfied with the General's policy in dealing with 
the Southern States through the military arm, for 
the logic of the situation compelled the soldier to 
temper his generosity and kindness with discretion, 
and to maintain a firm control over those disposed 
to turbulence and discontent, who were described 
in his annual report for 1866 as a class who " will 
acknowledge no law but force." 

In the midst of partisan and sectional strife, Grant 
was able to exert an important influence in reconcil- 
ing differences and softening asperities, for his 
house in Washington was a Mecca to which pilgrims 
journeyed from every State in the Union; some to 

1868] His Perplexities. 349 

gratify curiosity, and others to pay homage of sin- 
cere respect ; some to tender advice, and others to 
ask for it. Republicans and Democrats, the party 
of the President and the party of Congress, South 
and North, all took counsel with him. More 
strictly within the line of his official duty were the 
difficult questions of military policy or practice 
referred to him by army officers in the South, and 
their appeals for support in carrying out measures 
essential to the preservation of order, in the enforce- 
ment of the acts of Congress, and in the protection 
of their soldiers and the freedmen and Union men 
from local hostility and violence. " Left in the 
breach," as Sherman said, " to catch all the kicks 
and cuffs of a war of races, without the privilege of 
advising or being consulted beforehand," the lot 
of the military commander was not a happy one. 
Like most men disposed to moderation, and incap- 
able of unreasoning partisanship, Grant himself at 
first failed to secure the full confidence of either 
party to the bitter controversy which distracted the 
country, and increased the difficulties of the suf- 
ficiently perplexing problem of maintaining order 
at the South. 

Lacking the support of the executive head of the 
Government, and tied hand and- foot by restrictions 
they could not disregard, our soldiers were com- 
pelled to witness scenes peculiarly galling to mili- 
tary ideas of government. Neither life nor property 
was secure in the States lately in rebellion, where 
fierce antipathies menaced a war of races ; the South 
was convulsed with dissensions, and those who 

350 Ulysses S. Grant, [S865- 

loved order and peace favoured military control. 
But to this American traditions and American pre- 
judices were alike opposed, and the conflicts of 
jurisdiction were constant and vexatious. 

In Texas, Union soldiers were shot by citizens, 
and no grand jury would indict. Negroes were 
killed in large numbers throughout the South with- 
out even an attempt to hold any one responsible for 
their murder. Citizens who had served faithfully 
and honourably in the Union Army, and who were 
living in the South, were prosecuted in the courts 
for acts done by them under military authority, and 
judgments were awarded against them by partisan 
courts and judges. As the President, by a procla- 
mation dated April 2, 1866, had formally declared 
that M the insurrection ' was ended, the military 
were powerless to help these men, and as they were 
unable to carry their cases to the United States 
courts for lack of means, they were despoiled of their 

All of this was very irritating to the dominant 
sentiment of the North, which held that negroes 
and Union men were entitled to special favour, and 
especially the soldiers of the Army of the Union. 
The natural disposition of the South to defend the 
cause of secession and to glorify its heroes was an- 
other cause of irritation. 

As the measures of reconstruction for the South 
adopted by Congress were in direct opposition to 
the wishes of the President, and had been passed 
over his veto, he refused to be bound by them. It 
was accordingly determined to limit his control over 


as; : rc 

1868] His Perplexities. 351 

the Army to an extent which was believed by him and 
his supporters to trench upon his prerogative as Com- 
mander-in-Chief. An Act was passed establishing 
the grade of general, and on July 25, 1866, Grant 
received the appointment of this new rank. The 
unfortunate contest between the President and Con- 
gress continued, and in a confidential letter to 
Sheridan, dated October 12, 1866, Grant said: 

" The former becomes more violent with the opposition he meets 
with, until now but few people who were loyal to the Government 
during the Rebellion seem to have any influence with him. None 
have unless they join in a crusade against Congress and declare their 
acts, the principal ones, illegal, and, indeed, I much fear that we are 
fast approaching the time when he will want to declare the body 
itself illegal, unconstitutional and revolutionary. Commanders in 
Southern states will have to take great care to see, if the crisis does 
come, that no armed headway can be made against the Union." 

Finding it impossible to mould General Grant to 
his purposes, the President endeavoured to get rid 
of him by sending him on a mission to Mexico, and 
substituting Sherman in command at Washington. 
Both Grant and Sherman protested against this 
action. Grant wrote the President, declining to 
leave the country. 

" Nevertheless, in a day or two he was summoned to a full Cabinet 
meeting, when his detailed instructions were read to him by the 
Secretary of State, exactly as if objections and refusals had not been 
offered ; but Grant was now aroused ; and before the whole Cabinet 
he declared his unwillingness to accept the mission. The President 
also became angered. Turning to the Attorney-General he inquired : 
' Mr. Attorney-General, is there any reason why General Grant 
should not obey my orders? Is he in any way ineligible to this 
position ? ' Grant started to his feet at once, and exclaimed : ' I can 

352 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865- 

answer that question, Mr. President, without referring to the At- 
torney-General. I am an American citizen, and eligible to any office 
to which any American is eligible. I am an officer of the Army, and 
bound to obey your military orders, but this is a civil office, a purely 
diplomatic duty which you offer me, and I cannot be compelled to 
undertake it. Any legal military order you give me I will obey, but 
this is civil not military ; and I decline the duty. No power on 
earth can compel me to it.' He said not another word. No one 
replied ; and he left the Cabinet Chamber." * 

The President still insisted, until Sherman assured 
him that Grant would not go to Mexico, and told 
him very plainly that he could not afford to quarrel 
with Grant at that time. It was finally decided that 
Sherman should go himself, to cover the President's 
defeat. The papers were filled with rumours as to 
the purpose of Sherman's visit to Mexico, but all 
conjecture was at fault. At this time General Sher- 
man said, in a letter to the author of this biography : 

No one will probably ever know why I went along, 
and no journalist thus far has guessed within a mile." 
It was long before the secret was revealed. 

Congress continued its efforts to curb the Execu- 
tive, passing, in March, 1867, by large majorities 
over the President's veto, an act dividing the South 
into five military districts, and declaring that mili- 
tary rule should be supreme there. The civil courts 
were superseded by military tribunals, and all civil 
authorities and State governments were declared 
provisional and subject to the paramount authority 
of the United States. This immediately resulted in 
friction between the President and the military offi- 
cers who endeavoured to carry out the law, and cre- 

* Badeau's Grant in Peace, page 53. 

1868] His Perplexities. 353 

ated difficult situations. In dealing with them, 
Grant showed his usual sound judgment and good 
sense. As the controversy grew, he found himself 
more and more in sympathy with the majority in 
Congress, which returned his confidence. 

In the Army Appropriation Bill for 1867-68, 
passed in February, 1867, Congress further provided 
that all military orders issued by the President or 
the Secretary of War should go through the General 
of the Army, and that he should not be removed, 
suspended, or relieved from command without the 
consent of the Senate; orders issued contrary to 
this provision were declared void ; the person issu- 
ing them was declared guilty of a misdemeanour, and 
the officer obeying them was subject to imprison- 
ment from two to twenty years. This was followed 
by an act increasing the powers of the district com- 
manders, subjecting their acts to the approval of the 
General of the Army, and to this extent transferring 
the work of supervising the reconstruction of the 
Union from the hands of the President, where it 
belonged, to those of the General-in-Chief. Con- 
gress would have gone still further, making Grant 
even more independent of the President, and sub- 
stantially a dictator over the Southern States, had 
not he himself advised against it in the most urgent 
manner. He had more power than he cared to 
exercise ; much more than he would have exercised 
had not circumstances compelled, and the law re- 
quired it. 

This situation naturally increased the friction 
with the President, who did his best to prevent the 


354 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865^ 

operation of the law ; yet, under the wise adminis- 
tration of Grant, it resulted in greatly improving the 
condition of the South, in repressing disorder, and 
securing in greater measure just and impartial rule. 

The Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, who was 
opposed to the policy of the President, was asked 
to resign, his removal being subject, under the Ten- 
ure of Office Act, to the approval of the Senate. 
As he declined to yield his office, he was suspended, 
and Grant was appointed Secretary pro tem. He 
accepted the office under protest, and by agreement 
with Mr. Stanton, to prevent a less desirable appoint- 
ment. He entered upon his new duties August 12, 
1867, and five days later he was directed by the 
President to remove Sheridan from his command at 
New Orleans. His vigorous protest failing to change 
the purpose of Johnson, he was compelled to issue 
the order. He took occasion, however, to assure 
Sheridan of his unalterable confidence in him, and 
that he had sustained his course publicly, privately, 
and officially, not from personal feeling or partiality, 
but because he was right. Other district command- 
ers were suspended under like circumstances, but the 
changes made no practical difference, as the new 
appointees were in sympathy with Grant, with the 
single exception of General Hancock, who soon 
asked to be relieved, finding that he was powerless 
to carry out his own views of policy. 

Grant remained in the Cabinet of Mr. Johnson 
until January 13, 1868. He made an excellent Sec- 
retary of War, despatching business with great 
promptness, and with an intelligent knowledge of 

1868] Secretary of War. 355 

the necessities of the Army only to be acquired by 
experience in contact with troops. Decisions were 
arrived at promptly ; papers were not allowed to 
accumulate ; and his thorough knowledge of the 
routine of the Service enabled him to make import- 
ant reductions in the Quartermaster's Department 
and the clerical force; efficiency being the only 
thing considered, and not favour to individuals. 
An order was issued, however, directing that where 
necessary appointments were made, preference 
should be given, first, to soldiers wounded in the 
service; second, to honourably discharged soldiers; 
third, to civilians having families to support. 

The new regime in the War Office was typified by 
the substitution of a small bell for the one of ferocious 
sound, in which Mr. Stanton delighted. " There 
goes Stanton's bell!' officers were accustomed to 
exclaim, as its clang sounded through the halls of 
the War building. Every one was in a tremble of 
anticipation and alarm ; for each vibration told of an 
irascible bell-ringer, wrought up to the highest pitch 
of ferocious impatience, and greedy to pounce on 
some careless or incompetent underling for faults 
committed or suspected. 

Under the new management of the War Office 
there was courtesy everywhere; in transacting his 
business there, an officer of the Army received the 
treatment to which, as a gentleman, he was entitled. 
When summoned by the Secretary, he knew he was 
not to be catechised or subjected to suspicious cross- 
questioning, but that his aid v/as sought in the 
transaction of business of the War Bureau. He 

356 Ulysses S, Grant. [1865- 

responded with alacrity and pleasure, and left the 
presence of the Secretary with his self-respect unim- 

General Grant's quiet, undemonstrative, and prac- 
tical methods resulted in economy as well as de- 
spatch. His routine duties as Secretary of War 
were congenial to him, but his position as a member 
of President Johnson's Cabinet was very irksome. 
At Cabinet meetings, he was obliged to listen to 
political discussions in which he could not properly 
take part, because of his position as an Army officer, 
and which often involved action which he consid- 
ered unwise. He asked that he might be relieved 
from political duties as a member of the Adminis- 
tration. As no notice was taken of frequent requests 
of this nature, he finally limited his participation at 
Cabinet meetings to the transaction of business 
relating to his department, retiring from them as 
soon as this business was completed. As this did 
not altogether relieve him from a seeming participa- 
tion in partisan politics, he shared in some measure 
in the indignation directed against the Administra- 
tion of Mr. Johnson. 

Receiving official notice on January 13, 1868, that 
the Senate had declined to concur in the suspension 
of Stanton, Grant immediately vacated the War 
Office, resuming his duties as commanding general. 
Soon after this, Secretary Stanton asserted his au- 
thority by sending a messenger to Army Head- 
quarters to say in the phraseology of a superior 
officer that: " The Secretary desires to see General 
Grant." This unnecessary display of authority was 

1868] Secretary of War. 357 

not altogether agreeable to the General, and did not 
in his judgment accord with the courtesy he had 
himself shown to Mr. Stanton when he succeeded 
him in the preceding August. But it was Mr. 
Stanton's way arbitrarily to assert his prerogative 
as the representative of the President in his deal- 
ings with Army officers. 

More than once had Grant been made the victim 
of this disposition of the imperious Secretary to 
stretch his authority to its limits. He was an ex- 
tremely sensitive man, in spite of his appearance of 
stolidity, and though he submitted in silence to 
orders rudely expressed, and so framed as to imply 
a rebuke, his relations with the Secretary were never 
cordial or familiar. Stanton's apparent purpose was 
to keep the Army constantly in mind of its subordi- 
nation to the civil branch of the Government, inter- 
preting in his own favour all doubtful questions as 
to the limitations of authority. This went so far 
that Grant on one occasion wrote an appeal to the 
President, but decided to withhold it for the sake of 

The prompt surrender of the office of Secretary 
of War had convinced Congress and the country 
that Grant was free from any complicity in the plans 
of the President, but it involved him in further diffi- 
culties with Johnson. The differences between the 
two men reached an acute stage. The President, 
who had in some way conceived the idea that Grant 
had agreed to hold the War Office subject to his 
disposal, accused him of bad faith in surrendering 
it so promptly. This was the culmination of a long 

358 Ulysses S. Grant. [1865- 

series of exasperations which Grant had borne with 
his usual good temper. He was slow to anger, but 
when once thoroughly aroused, he was implacable. 
The President's implication upon his honour touched 
the old soldier in his tenderest susceptibilities. An 
embittered discussion arose, in which several Cabi- 
net Ministers joined in defence of the President. 
From that hour Grant refused to have any personal 
or social intercourse with the men who had joined 
with the President in impeaching his veracity. In 
one of a series of letters growing out of the dispute, 
he said : 

" The course you would have it understood I agreed to pursue was 
in violation of law and without orden tiom you, while the course I 
did pursue, and which I never doubted you fully understood, was in 
rdance with law, and not in disobedience of any orders of my 
superior. And now, Mr. President, where my honor as a soldier 
and integrity as a man have been SO violently assailed, pardon me for 
saying that I can but regard the whole matter, from the beginning 
to the end, as an attempt to involve me in the resistance of law for 
which you hesitated to assume the responsibility in orders, and thus 
to destroy my character before the country. I am, in a measure, 
confirmed in this conclusion by your recent orders directing me to 
disobey orders from the Secretary of War — my superior and your 
subordinate — without having countermanded his authority to issue 
the orders I am to dis 'bey. With assurance, Mr. President, that 
nothing less than a vindication of my personal honor and character 
could have induced this correspondence on my part, I have the 
honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" U. S. GRAM, General." 

This controversy was important in a historical 
sense, and its results were far-reaching. The termi- 
nation of Grant's career as a soldier soon followed, 
and he was introduced on the world's stage as an 
administrator of civil affairs on a large scale. The 

18681 Secretary of War. 359 

question of the succession to President Johnson was 
approaching determination, and political parties were 
manoeuvring to obtain the advantage of position in 
the coming contest. Grant was still recognised as 
the most influential citizen. Democrats and Repub- 
licans were each in hopes of obtaining his support, 
as his political position was undetermined. Though 
it was known that his sympathies previous to the 
war had been with the Union Democrats represented 
by Stephen A. Douglas, times had changed and he 
had changed with them. Still, as the fundamental 
article of his very simple political creed was faith in 
the people, and a disposition to submit to the will 
of the majority when declared by constitutional 
methods, he had never been in harmony with what 
he regarded as Mr. Johnson's revolutionary meth- 
ods. The breach with the President was irreconcil- 
able, and it was apparent that if Grant assumed any 
political position, it must be with the party who 
sustained Congress. The impeachment of Andrew 
Johnson followed; Grant, who was summoned as a 
witness, was absolutely impartial in his testimony, 
showing no feeling, and confined himself simply to 
a statement of facts. He refused " to exaggerate 
either the language or the acts of the President, or 
his own impressions of them ; though he was certain 
that this very moderation would be an argument in 
Johnson's favour." Yet he strongly approved of 
the President's impeachment, and did not hesitate 
to use his influence to bring about his removal from 
office as a dangerous conspirator against the peace 
of the country. 

360 Ulysses S. Grant [1865-68 

The impeachment proceedings failed for the lack 
of a single vote to make the necessary two-thirds. 
Benjamin F. Wade, the President of the Senate, 
would have succeeded Johnson had he been re- 
moved. On May 15, 1868, the day before the 
decision was reached in the Senate, Mr. Wade called 
upon Grant to consult him about his Cabinet, say- 
ing that as he, Grant, would be the candidate of the 
Republican party, and the next President, he wished 
to make his temporary appointments satisfactory to 
him. The next day Johnson was acquitted, and Mr. 
Wade never became President. A year previous to 
this, Senator Wade made a visit to the home of 
General Grant's parents in Covington, Kentucky, 
and satisfied himself by personal inquiries that 
Grant's views were in harmony with the action of 
Congress. Grant expressed his opinions freely 
enough in his own home, but he considered that it 
was unbecoming in a military officer to give public 
expression to political opinions. 




I HE availability of General Grant as a 
Presidential candidate was so appa- 
rent, and the question as to his polit- 
ical proclivities so much in doubt, 
that each of the great political par- 
ties had hopes that they might secure him as their 
standard-bearer for 1868. He had refused to permit 
the use of his name for the Presidential campaign of 
1864. In March, 1866, the Republicans of Roches- 
ter nominated him by acclamation as their candidate 
for the coming Presidential election, and leading 
Democrats sounded him on the subject of accepting 
a nomination from their party. Suggestions that he 
should enter upon a political career were distasteful 
to him, and he completely discomfited those who 
approached him on the subject by the exercise of 
his remarkable gift of silence. Even disclaimers 
might have given some clue to his feelings, but no 


362 Ulysses S. Grant. L1868- 

conclusion could be drawn from absolute silence, 
and from a face void of expression. Grant never 
dissembled, but no one could enter into his secret 
thought who was not welcome there. He knew too 
well the difficulties attending the office of Chief 
Magistrate to have any illusions on the subject; he 
was not actively ambitious, nor was he disposed to 
relinquish an office for which he was fitted, and which 
gave him congenial occupation to enter upon an un- 
certain career. There was but one consideration that 
could move him ; that was in appeal to his sense of 

Events so shaped themselves as to convince him 
that he must cast his great re] Qtation into the scale 
to determine the approaching political contest. 
Then his personal enemies and the enemies of the 
Republican party, to whose fortunes he had finally 
committed himself, joined forces in the attempt to 
destroy that reputation. Some of these, who had 
been loudest in praise, blinded by partisanship, now 
decried his career and his abilities. He was a 
" wooden man," a drunkard, and a dolt ; the favour- 
ite of fortune and the pet of Lincoln, who had ad- 
vanced him at the expense of better men. But, in 
the midst of this clamour of detraction, the listless 
auditors heard, out of the distance of years, the roll 
of the drums, the peal of the bells, and saw in fancy 
the waving of the banners that told of victories in 
war, — of a country saved. Even among his political 
opponents were found men honourable enough to 
say, with the Democratic candidate for Governor of 
Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, — 

1872] President of the United States. 363 

" I have seen General Grant stigmatized as a bad general, an in- 
competent man, and a confirmed drunkard. I have not the honor 
of his acquaintance, but when I am told he is no soldier, I can only 
say ' Donelson ' ; when you say he is a dolt, my heart responds, 
' Vicksburg ' ; and when I hear of his intemperance, I can only quote 
Mr. Lincoln, and wish he had more generals in the war who knew 
where to get the same brand of whiskey. No, gentlemen, he finished 
the war, and that is enough to entitle him to my respect and admira- 
tion." * 

On May 19, 1868, a Soldiers' and Sailors' Conven- 
tion at Chicago declared their " deliberate convic- 
tion " that Ulysses S. Grant is the choice of the 
soldiers and sailors of the Union," and the next 
day the National Republican Convention, held in 
the same city, unanimously nominated him for the 
Presidency on the first ballot ; Schuyler Colfax being 
nominated for the Vice-Presidency on the sixth 

When the news of the nomination arrived in 
Washington, Secretary Stanton hurried to the Army 
Headquarters, arriving out of breath in his eager- 
ness to be the first to announce it. Grant himself 
received the news without a sign of agitation or 
exultation. Whatever satisfaction he felt was tem- 
pered by regret that this ended his career as a 
soldier. He refused to take part in the canvass, 
and hid himself away in Galena, Illinois, directing 
that no letters should be sent to him. This gave 
offence to the party managers, but he had resolved 
that he would keep clear of entanglements and 
pledges of all kinds, that he might maintain his 

*It is to be borne in mind that Mr. Adams was not quoting facts 
concerning Grant, but simply charges for which, as appeared later, 
there was but trifling foundation. 


64 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868 

freedom of action. He refused to attend a political 
meeting at Galena, and, during a visit to intimate 
friends at St. Louis and Chicago, avoided political 
demonstration. He read the newspapers closely, 
however, and was not unwilling to discuss the 
chancer of election with his intimate friends. 

The Democrat^ nominated for President Horatio 

Seymour of NY \ York, a\\(\ for Vice- President, 
F. r. Blair of Missouri. Their platform demanded 
the overthrow of the reconstruction acts of Con- 
grea usurpations, unconstitutional, revolution- 

. and void." The Republicans resolved that the 
debt incurred for the war should be held as a sacred 
obi: : the Democrats demanded that it .should 

paid in *' lawful money "; that is to say, unre- 
liable paper money, except where made payable 

in coin by the expi * rm of the contract. It was 

the first ' -i since the war. and the canvass was 

fought substantially on the lines which had divided 

the North during the period of civil strife. 

In a lett -pting the nomination, Grant Said: 

"If elected to the office of President of the United States, it will 

my Mid— TOT to administer all the l.iw- in goo<| faith, with 

economy, and with the e. quiet, and protection 

In times like the present it is Impossible, or at least 

eminently improper, to lay down a policy to be tdhered to, rij^ht or 

J, Through an administration of four J new political 

i-sues, not foreseen, are constantly arising, the views of the public on 

old ones are constantly changing, and a purely administrative officer 

should always be left free to execute the will of the people. I always 

have respected that will, and always shall. Trace and universal 

erity, its sequence, with economy of administration, will lighten 

the bunion of taxation, while it constantly reduces the national debt. 

Let us have peace." 


1872] President of the United States. 365 

Wearied of war, and the constant distractions 
that followed during the period of reconstruction, 
the country longed for rest, and seized with avidity 
upon the concluding sentence of Grant's letter of 

" Let us have peace ! M was the refrain of the 

The election held November 3, 1868, resulted in 
the choice of General Grant by the vote of twenty- 
six States, having two hundred and fourteen electoral 
votes, Seymour receiving eighty. The popular 
majority for Grant and Colfax was 308,584; Vir- 
ginia, Mississippi, and Texas not voting. The 
report of the result was received by the successful 
candidate, as he had received the announcement of 
his nomination, without a sign of gratification or 
elation. In a little speech to his fellow-citizens of 
Galena, gathered around his house on the night of 
his election, he said : 

" The responsibilities of the position I feel, but 
accept them without fear." 

He returned to Washington soon after the elec- 
tion, being followed there by the usual stream of 
applications for office, all of which were turned over 
to an aide-de-camp, who opened them, but none 
were ever answered. The President-elect had very 
high ideas on the subject of appointments, holding 
that a man's fitness for office was in inverse ratio 
to his eagerness to obtain office. In all matters con- 
cerning appointments, he observed the reticence cus- 
tomary with him while in command of the Army. 
Not even his closest confidants were admitted to the 

366 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868- 

secret of his intentions concerning the choice of his 
Cabinet. To the Committee of Congress, who came 
to announce his election, he said: 

" I have always felt that it would be rather indelicate to announce 
or even consult with the gentlemen whom I thought of inviting to 
positions in my Cabinet before the official declaration of the results 
of the election was made, although I presumed there was no doubt 
what that declaration would be, ... If announced in advance, 
efforts would be made to change my determination ; and, therefore, 
I have come to the conclusion not to announce whom I am going to 
invite to seats in the Cabinet until I send in their names to the 
Senate for confirmation." 

The inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant as the 
eighteenth President of the United States, serving 
in the twenty-first Presidential term, took place at 
the Capitol at Washington on March 4, 1869. It 
was the occasion for a grand display of popular 
enthusiasm; the contest at the polls was over, the 
bitterness of partisan strife had passed for a time, 
and men of all parties united in doing honour to 
America's greatest citizen — the hero of war, the 
promoter of peace, who had won his high distinc- 
tion at an earlier age than any other President. He 
entered upon the duties of his office at a time when 
political and sectional animosities were at white heat. 
The controversies between the retiring Chief Magis- 
trate and Congress had fanned into a flame the ex- 
piring embers of the Rebellion, and had encouraged 
deceptive hopes of mastery in the breasts of those, 
who, at the close of the war were content to be treated 
as a conquered people. The South was distracted 
by controversies and bloody conflicts between the 

1872] President of the United States. 367 

champions of reaction and the friends of reconstruc- 
tion ; the North was divided in opinion between 
those who sympathised with the old order and those 
who were struggling through much doubt and diffi- 
culty to establish the new upon the solid basis of 
National legislation and popular approval. Grant 
understood that he was not the leader of a faction, 
but the spontaneous choice of the People, and he 
felt that it was his duty to establish an administra- 
tion independent of party control. He did not fully 
appreciate, however, all the difficulties before him, 
nor had his previous experience, in all respects, been 
such as to enable him to deal with them success- 
fully. By his personal character, by his lofty spirit 
of patriotism, by his high sense of public duty, he 
was admirably fitted for his new office. No man 
better understood the condition of the country, or 
was more thoroughly imbued with the spirit of true 
Americanism. He had been brought into close rela- 
tions with men of all sections of the divided country, 
and was more familiar than any one else with the 
sentiments of the people, North and South, upon 
whose vigorous manhood its future depended. He 
was, moreover, thoroughly informed as to the geo- 
graphical and industrial characteristics of the United 
States, and realised fully what was essential to se- 
cure its commanding position as an imperial State. 

The weakness of Grant was in his lack of experi-' 
ence in civil administration; in his inability fully to 
understand and to circumvent the intrigues of parti- 
sans and place-hunters; in his ignorance of the art 
of bending other men to his purposes, by consulting 

368 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868- 

their wishes and their prejudices in lesser matters, 
that he might control them in the greater. In short, 
he was a soldier, and not a politician. He was a 
statesman in his large views of public and national 
interests, but he lacked the experience that had 
once led Lincoln to make the extreme statement 
that " honest statesmanship is the employment of 
individual meannesses for the public good." 

The new President's inaugural address was mod- 
crate, conciliatory, and patriotic in tone, and his 
declaration that he would have a policy to recom- 
mend but none to enforce against the will of the 
people gave great encouragement to the country, 
harassed by the long controversy between Congress 
and the President under the previous Administra- 
tion. Equally encouraging was the declaration that 

no repudiator of one farthing of the public debt " 
would be M trusted in public place." This meant 
much, for Grant was no mouther of smooth phrases. 
With him speech and action were one. 

The announcement of the Cabinet which followed 
the inauguration was a disappointment, not only 
to the party leaders, but to all who wished well to 
the new Administration. ^ departing from the 
usual custom of consulting political leaders as to his 
appointments and making them known to those he 
was to favour, the President had carried reserve too 
far, as the result soon showed. He found himself 
somewhat in the position of the certain man in 
Scripture who " made a great supper and bade many 
and they all with one consent began to 
make excuse." Mr. A. T. Stewart, the dry-goods 

1872] The Cabinet. 369 

merchant of New York, who was selected for the 
Secretary of the Treasury, had been notified so that 
he might have time to arrange his private affairs, 
but it does not seem to have occurred to the Presi- 
dent that the business of others, if not so complex, 
was quite as important to them. After Mr. Stewart 
had been confirmed by the Senate, it was discovered 
that he was ineligible under an old act of Congress 
forbidding the appointing as Secretary of the Treas- 
ury of any person " concerned or interested in carry- 
ing on the business or trade of commerce. George 
H. Boutwell, of Massachusetts, was hurriedly chosen 
to fill the vacancy, but he was from the same State 
as E. Rockwood Hoar, who had been appointed 
Attorney-General, and this violated the unwritten 
law forbidding the selection of two Cabinet officers 
from the same State. Mr. Hoar was taken by 
surprise; hesitated to surrender his private busi- 
ness so abruptly, and resigned the following year, 
as did Jacob D. Cox, of Ohio, Secretary of the 
Interior, and for the same reasons. Adolph E. 
Borie, of Philadelphia, nominated for Secretary of 
the Navy, had called on the President-elect only 
two days before his name was sent to the Senate, 
but he was allowed to leave Washington in igno- 
rance of the fact that he was the coming man 
from Pennsylvania. He was a wealthy retired mer- 
chant, and had no disposition to surrender his ease 
for the responsibilities of office. He promptly 
declined, but was persuaded to remain for a few 
months, showing, during his brief term of service, 

excellent capabilities for the place. George M. 

370 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868- 

Robeson, who succeeded him on June 5, 1869, re- 
mained in office until the end of Grant's second term. 

The appointments of John M. Schofield, Secre- 
tary of War, and E. B. Washburn, Secretary of 
State, were designed to be temporary, and were 
intended as personal compliments. General Scho- 
field was succeeded within a week by John A. Raw- 
lins, General Grant's former Chief of Staff, who 
continued in office until his death in September, 
1869, and was followed, after an interregnum occu- 
pied by General Sherman, by William W. Belknap 
of Iowa, appointed October 25, 1869. When Mr. 
Washburn retired from the State Department after 
six weeks' service, he was succeeded by Hamilton 
Fish of New York, who took the portfolio with 
some reluctance. He held it with great acceptance 
for eight years; Madison, John Quincy Adams, and 
Seward being the only Secretaries of State having 
an equal term of service. 

John A. J. Creswell, of Maryland, was appointed 
Postmaster-General, and held that office during the 
Presidential term. Mr. Cox was succeeded by 
Columbus Delano, of Ohio, November 1, 1870, and 
Mr. Hoar by Amos T. Ackerman, of Georgia, June 
23, 1870. Mr. Ackerman remained in office only a 
few months, and was followed December 14, 1871, 
by George H. W r illiams, of Oregon. 

These miscarriages and changes in the selection of 
the members of the Cabinet were an unfortunate 
beginning for the new Administration, though they 
gave great inward satisfaction to the gentlemen who 
believed in M playing politics." They were con- 

1872] The Cabinet. 371 

fident, and, as the result showed, with good reason, 
that their methods must in the end prevail; that no 
President could make himself independent of exist- 
ing political conditions. As the Commanding Officer 
of the Army, and during his brief tenure of office as 
Secretary of War, Grant had learned something of 
the mysteries of political management, but he had not 
conceived a high idea of the politician as a type, and 
was disposed to make himself as independent of him 
as possible. At first, all the channels of influence 
between the White House and the party leaders 
were closed. The only access to the President was 
through the former members of his military staff, 
who continued on duty with him at the White 
House. They knew very little of politics or polit- 
ical managers, and to have borne a musket or car- 
ried a sword during the Civil War, established a 
higher claim upon their consideration than the ability 
to manage a political primary or to " work the 

The asserted domination of military influences at 
the White House gave offence to public men, who 
thought that their legislative experience and know- 
ledge of civil affairs entitled them to be con- 
sidered, or at least to be consulted with reference 
to appointments to office. The Administration of 
Mr. Johnson had been extremely unsatisfactory to 
the Republican party, now in complete control of 
the Government, and numerous changes were ex- 
pected in the removal and appointment of Federal 
officers, but these were prevented by the Tenure 
of Office Act, passed for the special purpose of re- 

372 Ulysses S. Grant [1868- 

straining Mr. Johnson's freedom of action. Grant 
would not consent to subject himself, or members 
of his Cabinet, to the disagreeable and undignified 
process of suspending, and formulating charges 
against, a public officer who was objectionable only 
because of his political opinions. The law was par- 
tially repealed, but the President insisted that this 
restraint upon his liberty should be entirely re- 
moved, contending that it was inconsistent with a 
faithful and efficient administration of the Govern- 
ment to compel the Executive to employ officials 
forced upon him, and those, too, whom he had sus- 
pended for reason. 

No President has ever been able to secure univer- 
sal approval of his selections for office; for where 
one is favoured, scores are disappointed. President 
Grant was no exception to the rule. As his deter- 
mination with reference to various changes became 
known, opposition to the Administration increased, 
until he was subjected to the grossest abuse because 
'* he would not yield to demands sometimes sordid 
and vile, touching patronage," and likewise to the 
unjust suspicion of abusing the appointing power for 
personal ends. He also suffered much from those 
described by him as being the most troublesome 
men in public life; " those over-righteous people, 
who see no motives in other people's action but evil 
motives, who believe all public life is corrupt, and 
nothing is well done unless they do it themselves. 
They are narrow-headed men, their two eyes so 
close together that they can look out of the same 
gimlet hole without winking." 

1872] Reform in the Civil Service, 373 

After he had been long enough in office to learn 
something of the evils of the existing system for the 
selection of Government appointees, the President 
appealed to Congress to correct the " abuse of long- 
standing." " There is no duty," he said, " which 
so much embarrasses the heads of departments as 
that of appointments; nor is there any such arduous 
and thankless labour imposed on senators and rep- 
resentatives as that of finding places for constituents. 
The present system does not secure the best men, 
and often not even fit men for public place." 

Receiving the necessary authority, in the act of 
March 3, 1871, a Board was convened to devise rules 
and regulations to effect a reform. The subject was 
referred to again at length in the next Annual Mes- 
sage, the President declaring that it had been his 
aim " to enforce honesty and efficiency in all public 
offices," holding to the rigour of the law every pub- 
lic servant violating his trust. " If, " he said, " bad 
men have secured places, it has been the fault of the 
system established by law and custom for making 
appointments." Recommendations were made for 
appointment to office without a proper sense of the 
grave responsibility involved. In his Annual Mes- 
sage of 1872, and again in his Inaugural of March 
4, 1873, the President pledged himself to maintain 
to the best of his judgment the spirit of the rules 
adopted by the Commission, but something more 
was needed ; the direct and positive support of Con- 
gress. This was denied, and in his Annual Message 
of 1874, he said finally: ** Under these circum- 
stances, therefore, I announce that, if Congress ad- 

374 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868- 

journs without positive legislation on the subject of 
' Civil-Service Reform ' I will regard such action as 
the disapproval of the system, and will abandon it, 
except so far as to require examinations for certain 
appointees to determine their fitness." 

Thus it appears from this record that the first 
earnest attempt by any President to reform our 
civil service originated with Grant. He was beset 
with difficulties within and without; he had to deal 
with an indifferent Congress; with professional pol- 
iticians sneering at " snivel-service reform," and 
with unwise reformers who sought so to tie his hands 
with impracticable rules as to paralyse Executive 
action; complaining when necessary removals were 
made without formal charges, and insisting that 
other removals should be made on charges brought 
by irresponsible persons without good ground. To 
the writer of this biography Grant once explained his 
theory of civil-service reform. It was very simple, 
and was the fruit of a practical experience such as 
few men have had. He held that the President 
should be entirely free to make his own selection 
for office, the final appointment being held subject 
to a satisfactory examination for fitness for office. 
This is the system followed in the Army and Navy. 

As to Grant's sincere desire to reform the civil 
service there can be no doubt, but he did not 
believe that Executive responsibility could be trans- 
ferred to a board absolutely controlling selections to 
office. The question was not whether it was wise and 
right to purify every department of the Government, 
but what was the most effectual method of doing this. 

1872] Reform in the Civil Service. 375 

" Has there been," asked Senator Morton, " an 
Administration within the memory of any man on 
this floor that has more promptly punished crime 
when it has been brought to light, or has more 
promptly removed the offender from office?" 
Senator Edmunds declared that with respect to the 
fidelity of its agents the Administration of Grant 
would " compare favourably with any Administra- 
tion that ever preceded it from the days of George 
Washington to this day, when you take into con- 
sideration the number of persons necessarily em- 
ployed in the Government now, compared with its 
early days, and the large amount of the transactions 
that they are obliged to perform." There were 
thefts and embezzlements, but the percentage was 
phenomenally small as compared with previous Ad- 

Charles Sumner, Senator from Massachusetts, 
gradually took a leading position among the critics 
of the President. His hostility grew so acrimoni- 
ous that he finally said, in the language of Lord 
Durham to Henry Brougham : " Among the fore- 
most purposes ought to be the downfall of this 
odious, insulting, degrading, aide-de-campish, in- 
capable dictatorship. At such a crisis, is the coun- 
try to be left at the mercy of barrack counsels and 
mess-room politics ? ' Mr. Sumner was a gentle- 
man whose intellectual differences with others as- 
sumed to his mind the aspect of a contest between 
the forces of good and evil that admits of no com- 
promise. Even his close political friend and ally, 
Mr. George William Curtis, in resenting a personal 

376 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868- 

attack on one occasion said: " Sumner, you must 
learn that other men are as honest as you are." 

Between Grant and Sumner there was an absolute 
and irreconcilable incompatibility of temper. To 
James Russell Lowell, General Grant confided the 
fact that he had never strained his own intellectual 
processes to bring himself into touch with another 
man, so much as in the case of Senator Sumner. It 
was of no avail. Grant was an eminently matter-of- 
fact man, who, when he had once grasped facts, had 
an unusually clear perception of them in their rela- 
tion to practical action, and was less concerned with 
methods than with the end to be accomplished. 
Sumner was an idealist; disposed to quarrel with 
those who sought to accomplish like results by ways 
that did not seem to him to be abstractly perfect. 
Grant was free from vanity and self-consciousness; 
Sumner found himself so pleasantly reflected in his 
own intellectual processes that, like Narcissus, he 
was absorbed in the contemplation of his own per- 
fections. How could men so different be in accord? 

The President had given offence to Senator Sum- 
ner by his failure to consider him in the matter of per- 
sonal appointments, and when the occasion offered 
he assumed the attitude of unyielding opposition. 
At various periods in our history, overtures had 
been made looking to the transfer of the territory 
of San Domingo to the United States. In 1845 
President Polk sent Lieutenant, afterward Admiral, 
David D. Porter, U. S. N., as a commissioner to the 
island, and in 1854 Captain, afterward Major-General, 
George B. McClellan, U. S. A., was sent on the same 

1872] Hostility of Senator Sumner. 377 

errand by President Pierce, who made an unsuccess- 
ful attempt to negotiate a treaty with San Do- 
mingo. Again, in 1867, President Johnson sent the 
Assistant Secretary of State, Frederick W. Seward, 
on a prospecting tour to the island. 

Soon after the inauguration of President Grant, 
Baez, the President of San Domingo, sent a com- 
missioner to Washington to represent the advantage 
of a union of the two Republics. His overtures 
received but little favour, and a second commissioner 
was sent on the same errand in July, 1869. Mean- 
while, it had been resolved to send some one to San 
Domingo to inquire into the matter, and Mr. Ben- 
jamin S. Hunt, of Philadelphia, a gentleman in 
every way well qualified for this mission, was ap- 
pointed by the President. But he was taken ill just 
as he was about to sail, and never visited San Do- 
mingo. Various considerations affecting the inter- 
ests of the Dominican Republic made it necessary 
to observe absolute secrecy, so that no evil results 
should follow in case the matter never went beyond 
the stage of preliminary discussion. Following the 
precedent in the cases of Lieutenant Porter and 
Captain McClellan, President Grant selected as his 
representative an officer of the Corps of Engineers 
of the Army, Gen. Orville E. Babcock, who had 
been in close relations with him as a member of his 
military staff. With the discretion and secrecy cus- 
tomary in his profession General Babcock proceeded 
to San Domingo, and returned with the basis of an 
important treaty without any one suspecting his 
mission. In concealing the purpose of Babcock's 

378 Ulysses S. Grant. [1868- 

visit to San Domingo, Grant simply pursued his 
customary method in important matters. He had 
learned by much experience that if you wish to keep 
a matter confidential the only way to secure perfect 
secrecy is never to reveal your plans to any one. 

Intent only on accomplishing the object in view, 
he had unwittingly given great offence to those who 
thought they had a right to participate in the secrets 
of the Administration, and especially to Mr. Sum- 
ner, who was full of questionings as to the cause of 
so much reserve, and did not hesitate to charge it 
to the most unworthy motive, and charges of a like 
nature were caught up and scattered over the coun- 
try. So much opposition was excited in this way, 
that a formal treaty for the annexation of San Do- 
mingo was rejected by a tie vote of the Senate, 28 
to 28, June 30, 1870, after a heated debate, Mr. 
Sumner leading the opposition. 

In his annual message in December following, the 
President renewed his recommendation for the ac- 
quisition of San Domingo with great earnestness; 
but the opposition in the Senate was still so strong 
that no action was taken, beyond the appointment 
of a commission to visit San Domingo and report 
upon the facts. In spite of the obvious fairness of 
this measure, it encountered the most virulent op- 
position from Mr. Sumner, the occasion for which 
was revealed when the commission presented a 
report completely answering all of his false charges, 
and clearly convicting him of misrepresentation or 
misinformation. It was made apparent that the 
Senator's morbid self-esteem had disposed him to 

1872] Hostility of Senator Sumner. 379 

listen too eagerly to stories to the discredit of one 
who had unwittingly wounded his amour propre. 

As the President said in a special message to Con- 
gress: " No man can hope to perform duties so deli- 
cate and responsible as appertain to the Presidential 
office without sometimes incurring the hostility of 
those who deem their opinions and wishes treated 
with insufficient consideration. ' ' Bearing this fact in 
mind, we can better understand the powerful influ- 
ences combining to make it appear to many that 
Grant failed in the administration of the Executive 
office of President. 

Grant never yielded his opinion on the subject of 
the importance of securing San Domingo by peace- 
able means. Six years after the controversy had 
been settled he returned to the subject in his last 
Annual Message, repeating his arguments for an- 
nexation in vindication of his previous action, and 
declaring his belief that if his views " had been con- 
curred in, the country would be in a more prosperous 
condition, both politically and financially." In his 
Inaugural Address of March 4, 1873, he said: 

"I do not share in the apprehension held by many, as to the 
danger of governments becoming weakened and destroyed by reason 
of their extension of territory. Commerce, education, and rapid 
transit of thought and matter by telegraph and steam have changed 
all this. Rather do I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the 
world in his own good time, to become one nation, speaking one 
language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required." 

Such was the broad creed of the great soldier, and 
it explains his interest not only in the San Domingo 
purchase, but in other projects for extending Ameri- 

380 Ulysses S. Grant. w 868- 

can influence by peaceful methods. In his first 
Annual Message he called attention to the import- 
ance of building a canal across the Isthmus of Pan- 
ama to turn westward the current of commercial 
interchanges between the Atlantic and Pacific, and 
to strengthen the country for defence by enabling 
our ships of war to maintain communication between 
the eastern and western slopes of the American 
continent. Incidental to this he proposed to secure, 
by proper means, a foot-hold among the islands of 
the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribbean Sea, which by 
a short-sighted policy had been permitted to pass 
under the control of foreign States that might at any 
moment become hostile States. He understood 
better than any one else the importance of securing 
our ocean frontier by the possession of the bulwarks 
that nature has planted for the defence or the assault 
of our Southern ports, and he knew how much 
we suffered during the Civil War because of the 
opportunity given to the vexatious blockade runners 
by the existence, immediately off our coast, of ports 
under the control of a government showing them 
hospitality. But he could not arouse a sluggish 
Congress, even one in political sympathy with his 
Administration, to an appreciation of his own en- 
lightened views, and the attempt to do so subjected 
him to misapprehension and abuse that he keenly 
felt, knowing, as he did, not only that he was moved 
by patriotic purpose, but that he was much better 
informed on the subject than were his critics. 

Another subject that greatly interested the Presi- 
dent was the restoration of our mercantile marine to 
the position it held before Confederate cruisers 

1872] Hostility of Senator Sumner, 38 : 

drove our commerce from the seas, and British ship- 
builders had learned how to substitute the ores of 
England for the forests of America in the construc- 
tion of steamships. The attention of Congress was 
called to this matter in the Annual Message of De- 
cember 6, 1869, presenting " an earnest plea for 
early action in a way to secure the desired increase 
of American commerce." This was followed by 
special messages of March 23, 1870, and July 15, 
1870, and the discussion of the subject was renewed 
in the Annual Message of December 2, 1872. 

As a practical remedy, it was suggested that 
liberality should be shown in the payment for 
carrying mails to American-owned and American- 
built steamers," requiring them to be so built that 
they could be used in war, the Government reserv- 
ing the right to take possession of them when neces- 
sity required. This has long been the European 
system, and it has been adopted by the United 
States, following this suggestion of President Grant. 
In line with the project for promoting the interests 
of our commercial marine, were the constant sug- 
gestions in the President's messages that the Navy 
should be strengthened. There was improvement 
in this department of the public service without 
great increase in expenditure, the appropriation for 
the Navy in the last year of Grant's Administration 
being nearly seven millions of dollars less than for 
the first year. The attempt to accomplish necessary 
results with insufficient appropriations was an occa- 
sion for criticism by those who did not realise how 
large an expenditure is required annually to save our 
floating defences from deterioration and destruction. 




F President Grant had been as eager 
for foreign conquest as his enemies 
would lead us to believe, no fairer 
opportunity could have offered itself 
than the one presented during our 
difficulties with Spain, which grew out of the insur- 
rection in the island of Cuba, and extended over 
the whole of Grant's two terms, or from 1868 to 

The sympathy with the Cuban struggle for inde- 
pendence was very strong in the United States, and 
found expression in resolutions passed by the House 
of Representatives in 1869. Several of the South 
American states had granted belligerent rights to 
the Cubans, and the pressure upon our Government 
to grant the same privilege was strong and per- 
sistent. The President was anxious to recognise 
the Cubans when he could do so properly, but at no 
time did the contest, according to his judgment, 


1870-731 Foreign Relations. 383 

assume such proportions as to justify him in doing 
so. To this fact he repeatedly called the attention 
of Congress, while at the same time he expressed in 
the strongest terms his detestation of the methods 
which led to the devastation of the fairest of the 

So long as Spain confined herself to the summary 
execution of her own subjects, it was not in the 
power of our Government to interfere. But when, 
in 1873, she captured the Virginius, a vessel bearing 
the American flag, and summarily executed Ameri- 
can citizens found on board of her, the whole coun- 
try was up in arms. The President's action was 
prompt and vigorous, and the unwillingness of Spain 
to show equal promptitude in repairing the wrong 
led to peremptory demands upon her which would 
have resulted in war had she not yielded to them. 
War with Spain would have been popular, especially 
with the old soldiers North and South, and the grim 
veteran who sat in the White House had no occa- 
sion to fear it. With wise precaution he made 
every possible preparation to meet the emergency 
if it came, and he would have been quite at home 
in making use of the vast powers of the United 
States to secure recognition of their rights. No 
country in the world had at that time so many 
trained and experienced soldiers and so many com- 
petent leaders. The plan of action proposed, in the 
event of war, involved the invasion of Spain by a 
flying column commanded by Sheridan and ostensi- 
bly organised for an attack on Cuba. 

In Grant's Message to Congress on the subject of 

384 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870- 

Cuba will be found an exceedingly clear and able 
expression of the statesmanship which bears and 
forbears that it may promote peace, while never 
shrinking from the forcible assertion of just de- 
mands. ' It has been the endeavour of the Ad- 
ministration," Congress was told, '* to execute the 
neutrality laws in good faith, no matter how un- 
pleasant the task, made so by the sufferings we have 
endured from lack of like good faith towards us by 
other nations." 

The good offices of the United States were ten- 
dered to Spain with a view to a settlement of her 
difficulties. This tender was received with polite- 
ness, but declined with an expression of thanks for 
the friendly offer. In the case of her disputes with 
Peru and Chili, however, a similar offer was ac- 
cepted, and, as a result of it, an honourable peace 
was arranged between Spain and the South Ameri- 
can Republics, in an International Congress which 
met at Washington. The President said : 

" I have always felt that the most intimate relations should be 
cultivated between the Republic of the United States and all in- 
dependent nations on this continent. It may be well worth con- 
sidering whether new treaties between the United States and them 
may not be profitably entered into, to secure more intimate relations, 
friendly, commercial or otherwise." 

This was the policy followed during Grant's Ad- 
ministration with undeviating fidelity. 

A like disposition to promote good relations was 
shown in his dealings with the nations of Europe 
and Asia. A request from the French Republic to 

J873] Foreign Relations. 385 

intervene in association with other powers to pro- 
mote peace with Germany, was declined, as in con- 
travention of our policy of avoiding entangling 
alliances with European Powers. But the estab- 
lishment of a Republic by the French was followed 
by a prompt and hearty recognition by telegraph 
which deeply touched the sensibilities of that great 

Crowds surrounded the American Legation, bear- 
ing the French and American flags, and repeating 
the cries " Vive V Amerique ; Vive la France!" 
An address was presented by a delegation, and in 
his letter of acknowledgment to Mr. Washburne, 
the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jules 
Favre, said, " I look upon it as a happy augury for 
the French Republic that it has received as its first 
diplomatic support the recognition of the Govern- 
ment of the United States." 

In 1 87 1, a treaty was concluded with Italy, con- 
taining an agreement that " private property at sea 
shall be exempt from capture in case of war between 
the two Powers." " The United States," said the 
President in his Message to Congress, " has spared 
no opportunity of incorporating this rule into the 
obligations of nations." 

In 1873, arbitration settled disputes with Spain 
and Brazil, and our Minister to Berlin, Mr. Ban- 
croft, secured from Germany, after much effort, a 
recognition of " the inalienable natural right of im- 
migration, not limited by any duty to the original 
Government, except where the performance of that 
duty has been formally initiated." This was a 


386 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870- 

definite abandonment of the European doctrine of 

once a subject always a subject." 

Constant attempts were made, under Grant's Ad- 
ministration, to cultivate good relations with the 
Orientals, and these were very successful with China 
and Japan. Corea was less willing to be wooed, 
and resented, with haughty insolence, the attempt 
to inquire into the circumstances of the murder of 
the crew of an American vessel cast upon her shores. 
A naval expedition, under Admiral Rodgers, sent to 
Corea, was attacked, but the forts committing this 
outrage were taken by a gallant assault and de- 

The crowning achievement of Grant's Adminis- 
tration in the department of diplomatic intercourse, 
and one that is in itself sufficient to make that 
administration memorable for all time, was the 
negotiation of the Treaty of Washington. It ele- 
vated international intercourse to a higher plane, 
and gave convincing proof to all the world of the 
sincerity of Grant's declaration in accepting the 
nomination for the Presidency : " Let us have 
peace ! " — in striking contrast to the hollowness of 
a similar declaration by Napoleon III. : " V Empire 
e'est la Paix ! " 

During our Civil War our Government had been 
compelled to steadily protest against the unfriendly 
course pursued by England which tended to pro- 
mote the dissolution of the American Republic, and 
thus remove a powerful rival from the path of Eng- 
land's commercial progress. Against hostile opinion 
in England, however influential, we could take no 

1873] Foreign Relations. 387 

action, galling as it was to American sensibilities to 
see England's profession of fellowship and kinship 
thrown to the winds in sympathy with a confedera- 
tion whose declared purpose was the establishment 
of a slave empire. We were compelled, through 
force of circumstances, to submit to the hostile and 
insulting criticisms upon America and the American 
people found scattered so liberally through Han- 
sard's reports of the parliamentary debates of that 

These sentimental grievances were not the only 
ones of which complaint was made, and it was the 
determination of Government and people that Eng- 
land should at the first opportunity be called to ac- 
count for the substantial injuries we had suffered by 
her defiance of international obligations. Her colo- 
nies had been the " arsenal, the Navy yard, and the 
Treasury of the Confederates." From the shelter of 
her ports, and encouraged by the partiality and gross 
negligence of her Government, the Confederate 
cruisers had destroyed our shipping and almost 
driven our commerce from the seas. England pro- 
longed our war, and compelled us to pay in precious 
blood and treasure for her premature granting of 
belligerent rights to the Confederates, and her readi- 
ness in furnishing them with money and supplies to 
carry on the war against us. Finally, forced by the 
persistent remonstrances of our Government to admit 
that wrong had been done to the United States, Earl 
Russell, then Lord John Russell, fell back upon the 
position that the honour of England would not per- 
mit her to make any restitution. 

388 Ulysses S. Grant [1870- 

While displeasing to Northern sentiment, the 
selfishness of the policy pursued by the English 
Government had been so apparent that they won no 
friends in the South. Thus, when the greatest con- 
queror of our day found himself wielding the re- 
sources of a mighty nation, the American public 
sentiment was substantially united in favour of any 
hostile policy he might pursue towards England. 
As said Caleb Cushing, in his Treaty of Washington : 

" Never in the history of nations, has an occasion existed where a 
powerful people, smarting under the cousciousness of injury, mani- 
fested greater magnanimity than was displayed in that emergency by 
the United States. We had on the sea hundreds of ships of war or 
of transport ; we had on land hundreds of thousands of veteran 
soldiers under arms ; we had officers on land and sea, the combatants 
in a hundred battles ; all this vast force of war was in a condition to 
be launched as a thunderbolt at any enemy ; and, in the present case, 
the possessions of that enemy, whether continental or insular, lay at 
our very door in tempting helplessness. But neither the Government 
and people of the United States, nay, nor their laurel-crowned Gen- 
erals and Admirals, desired war as a choice, nor would accept it but 
as a necessity ; and they elected to continue to negotiate with Great 
Britain, and to do what no great European State has ever done 
under like circumstances, — that is, to disarm absolutely, and make 
thorough trial of the experiment of generous forbearance, before 
having recourse to the dread extremity of vengeful hostilities against 
Great Britain." 

In February, 1869, Reverdy Johnson, who was 
filling a brief term of office as Minister to England, 
negotiated a treaty with that country which was so 
offensive to American sentiment that it was promptly 
rejected by the United States Senate without cere- 
mony, as surrendering the whole American case 

1873] Treaty of Washington. 389 

against Great Britain. The report on this treaty 
was made a few weeks after Grant entered upon his 
first term as President. He entirely approved of it, 
and in his succeeding Annual Message said : 

" I regarded the action of the Senate in rejecting the treaty to 
have been wisely taken in the interest of peace, and as a necessary 
step in the direction of a perfect and cordial friendship between the 
two countries. A sensitive people, conscious of their power, are 
more at ease under a great wrong wholly unatoned than under the 
restraint of a settlement which satisfies neither their ideas of justice, 
nor their grave sense of the grievance they have sustained." 

In his Annual Message of December, 1870, the 
President clearly presented the apparently irrecon- 
cilable difference in the points of view of the two 
nations. That a great international dispute might 
be lifted above the level of personal contention, he 
advised that the Government should secure the 
ownership of all private claims against Great Britain 
on the part of American citizens, and the respon- 
sible control of all the demands against that country. 
" Whenever," he said, " Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment shall entertain a desire for a full and friendly 
adjustment of these claims, the United States will 
enter upon their consideration with an earnest desire 
for a conclusion consistent with the honour and 
dignity of both nations." Secure from the pressure 
of over eager claimants, we could then afford to wait 
the result with patience. 

It was Grant who spoke ; the man whose patient 
but inflexible determination of purpose no one could 
question. The British Government clearly per- 

390 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870- 

ceived that there was a larger question involved in 
the dispute than that of merely quieting a few hun- 
gry claimants, who would fain content themselves 
with half a loaf if they could not get the whole. 
England could not afford to leave the precedent she 
had established, for America to follow when the 
enemies of Britain should demand the shelter of 
America's ports and the help of her resources, that 
they might more surely prey upon British com- 
merce. Germany and France were at war, and 
there was a prospect of trouble between England 
and Russia. The interests of England clearly de- 
manded the settlement of the Alabama claims, so 
called from the Confederate cniser which had done 
the most damage to our commerce. This vessel 
was built in British dockyards, armed by British 
guns, manned by British sailors, and was destroyed, 
June 19, 1864, in a fair fight with the Kcarsarge in 
the English Channel, in the presence of British spec- 
tators who had gathered to witness the discomfiture 
of the hated Yankee. The Alabama was the very 
embodiment and expression of the case of the 
United States against England. 

The negotiations between the two countries had 
been abruptly, not to say rudely, broken ; the ques- 
tion now was how to reopen them without loss of 
dignity. Means were found, the overtures this time 
coming from England. An understanding was 
arrived at by the British Minister and the American 
Secretary of State; authority was obtained from 
London by cable, and Sir Edward Thornton and 
Mr. Fish signed an agreement binding the two 

1873] Treaty of Washington. 391 

countries to submit to a commission all questions in 
dispute between them. 

The President and the Queen each named five 
commissioners. The British Commissioners sailed 
without their commissions, and these were for- 
warded to them by special messenger. In less than 
a month from the date of the first proposition by 
Sir Edward Thornton, they were in New York, 
having departed from London, as the gossips said, 
" so hurriedly that they came with portmanteaus, 
leaving their servants behind to pack their trunks 
and follow." " Thus," says Mr. Blaine, 

"the question which for six years, had been treated with easy indif- 
ference, if not with contempt, by the British Foreign Office, had in a 
day become exigent and urgent, and the diplomatic details which 
ordinarily would have required months to adjust, were now settled by 
cable in an hour. . . . For this change of view in the British 
Cabinet, and this courier-like speed among British Diplomatists, 
there was a double cause, — the warning of the Franco-Prussian 
War, and President Grant's proposition to pay the Alabama claims 
from the Treasury of the United States — and wait. Assuredly the 
President did not wait long ! " 

The two Governments appointed commissioners 
whose high character indicated the importance given 
to their deliberations. The British Commissioners 
were the President of the Queen's Council, a late 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British Minister 
at Washington, the Premier of Canada, and the Ox- 
ford Professor of International Law. The Ameri- 
can Commissioners were a Justice of the Supreme 
Court, the Secretary of State, a Senator, the Minis- 
ter to Great Britain, and the late Attorney-General, 

392 Ulysses S. Grant. M870 

Mr. Hoar. These Commissioners met at Washing- 
ton on February 2J t 1871, and. on May 8th, follow- 
ing, they signed an agreement known as* 'The Treaty 
of Washington. " 
In this it was provided that all claims growing out 

of acts committed by certain vessels named, and 

Jly known as the Alabama claims, should be 

referred to five arbitrators — one to be named by the 

ident of tl. ited States, one by the Qu 

of England, on the Kin.; of Italy, one by the 

nt <>f the Swiss Confederation, and one by 

the Emp f Brazil. The arbitrators met. in 

D ember, 1 eva, Switzerland, and, on 

mber 14. . >n <>f nine months, 

1 that the sum of $1 5,500,000 in gold be paid 

Britain to t: I States for the s.ttis- 


Three other i: "ermine d 

n the Unil Britain by 

this treat}-. i "•• ion was referred the 

>n «-f our fishu hts in British American 

mother, the claims <>f British subj* 

Jnst the Unil .ml <»f Americans against 

nd, for losses Incurred during our Civil Wai- 
ts committed by the officials of either 

intry. To the Emperor of Germany was given 

the decision of the 1 1 » dispute as to the 

rth-western Boundary, known as the San Juan 
On- ber 21, [872, the Emperor ren- 

dered his decision in favour of the United States, 
and this was promptly accepted by England. The 
other two commissions made awards requiring pay- 

1873] Treaty of Washington. 393 

ment by the United States of $7,426,819. The 
most important of these decisions was that concern- 
ing the North-western Boundary. Concerning it, 

President Grant said in his Annual Message: 

" This award COIlfirmi the United States in their claim to the im- 
portant archipelago of islands lying between the Continent and Van- 
couvers Island, which for more than twentj 1! Britain contested! and leaves us, for the first time in the b I the 

Unitcl states as a nation, without i question of disputed boundary 
between our territory and the poasessioni of Great Britain on this 

The settlement <>f the Fishery Question, five \vars 

Liter, under the terms of the Treaty <>f Washington, 
removed from the arena of international discussion 
the last subject in dispute at that time between 
England and America. 

The Treaty of Washington did not give universal 

satisfaction on either side of the Atlantic. It was 
assailed in the United States Senate-, and the Demo- 
cratic members of the Senate, with two or three 
exceptions, voted against it, but it had six votes 
beyond the necessary two thirds. The presentati 
in deference to the views of Senator Sumner, of a 
claim for damages indirectly arising from the action 
of Great Britain, created great excitement in Eng- 
land. The unanimous decision by the arbitrators, such claims were not to be considered, quieted 
this excitement, but it was renewed when the final 
award was made, against the protest of the British 
arbitrator. For a time these disagreements threat- 
ened a rupture between the two countries. 

Incidental to the negotiation with England was a 

394 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870- 

further rupture between Senator Sumner of Massa- 
chusetts and the President. After the rejection of 
the Clarendon-Johnson Treaty, Mr. John Lothrop 
Motley, who was then our Minister to the Court of 
St. James, was instructed by our State Department 
to make certain representations to the British Gov- 
ernment concerning the rejection of the treaty. His 
conduct in the affair did not meet the approval of 
the President, and, as he refused to resign, he was 

Mr. Motley had been appointed by President 
Grant, but he was considered impracticable, as he 
shared certain extreme views held by Mr. Sumner, 
who had gone so far as to propose that Great Britain 
should be asked to withdraw her flag from this con- 
tinent as a preliminary to the settlement of this 
international difficulty. Mr. Sumner was greatly 
lacking in tact, and ability to co-operate with others 
who did not accept his extreme opinions. His 
presence at the head of the Senate Committee on 
Foreign Affairs was a great embarrassment, not only 
for this reason, but also because he was hardly on 
speaking terms with either the President or the Sec- 
retary of State. He was accordingly removed from 
his position as head of the Committee. The re- 
moval of Mr. Motley had been decided upon before 
the occurrence of the difficulty with Mr. Sumner, 
but the two things were connected in the minds of 
the friends of the two men, and the President was 
informed by the Saturday Club of Boston that his 
conduct in sacrificing Mr. Motley to his disagreement 
with Mr. Sumner, which he did not do, was certain 

1873] Negro Enfranchisement. 395 

"to offend all educated men of New England." 
The statement was a significant one, and it goes far 
to explain many of the President's subsequent diffi- 
culties with public opinion. Though he was a 
highly educated man, in the sense of having a well- 
disciplined mind, and was an alumnus of an institu- 
tion more exact in its training than any other in 
America, he bore no academic honours, and was apt 
to be at odds with the doctrinaires and theorists. 

Other causes of complaint were equally ill founded, 
as in the case of Senator Sumner's objection to the 
Dominican treaty on the ground that it threatened 
the interests of the black race, which he was especi- 
ally ordained to guard, as these interests were rep- 
resented in the negro Republic of Hayti. That 
the negroes did not share his apprehensions con- 
cerning General Grant in this respect was shown 
by their action on several occasions. The repre- 
sentatives of a National Coloured Labour Conven- 
tion, held at Washington, waited upon the President 
and thanked him for his recognition of their right to 
places of honour and trust in the several depart- 
ments of the Government, and a National Conven- 
tion of coloured men, assembled in New Orleans, 
April 19, 1872, under the Presidency of Frederic 
Douglass, passed a series of resolutions in which 
they joined the names of Sumner and Grant in the 
special recognition of their services to the coloured 

On the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment 
in 1870, President Grant sent a special message to 
Congress calling attention to the act enfranchising 

396 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870- 

four millions of men, who had been declared by the 
highest tribunal of the land not to be citizens, and 
not eligible to become so. This, he declared, " was 
a measure of grander importance than any one act 
of the kind from the foundation of our free Govern- 
ment to the present day." He appealed to the 
newly enfranchised race to remember how important 
it was for them to strive in every way to make them- 
selves worthy of their new privilege. He urged 
upon Congress the duty of encouraging popular 
education throughout the country, and called "upon 
the people everywhere to see to it that all who pos- 
- and exc political rights shall have the op- 

portunity to acquire the knowledge which will make 
their share in the Government a blessing and not a 
danger. " 

This M dated March 30, 1870, is an excel- 

lent example of the high moral elevation of all of 
President Grant's public documents. He never 
indulged in speculations, or propounded mere theo- 
ries. 1 [e was always plain and practical, and, though 
he appealed to common sense and to national self- 
interest, he never sought to influence men by un- 
worthy motives, nor to excite popular prejudice for 
the benefit of his party. It disconcerted, and at 
times perplexed him, to find that projects designed 
only for the public good were opposed on the 
theory that they were intended for personal ag- 

As General Grant's term of office drew to a close 
it became more and more evident that he was des- 
tined to be his own successor. He could not be 

1873] Re-election. 397 

expected to satisfy those of an opposing political 
faith ; and if he had not succeeded in satisfying all 
the men of public influence in his own party, and all 
of the newspapers, his Administration commended 
itself as a whole to popular approval. The unjust 
and violent attacks upon him had not weakened 
public confidence in his ability, his patriotism, or 
his devotion to the best interests of the country. 
The turmoil of Johnson's Administration had been 
followed upon Grant's inauguration by comparative 
tranquillity. It is true that disturbances continued 
at the South, but Washington was no longer a storm 
centre, and political interest was in a measure trans- 
ferred to State and local affairs, thus re-establishing 
the normal relations of State and National author- 
ity. Prosperity was general, except at the South, 
and even there conditions had gradually improved, 
as was indicated by an increase of seventy per cent, 
in the annual product of the chief Southern staple, 
cotton. Under exceedingly difficult circumstances 
good relations had been maintained with foreign 
Governments, and the soldier's triumphs in diplo- 
macy were as great as they had been in war. Our 
finances had been managed with skill, and the pub- 
lic credit maintained in spite of the determined 
attempts to fasten upon the nation the dishonour of 
repudiation. Everywhere had been shown a sincere 
purpose to place the administration of public affairs 
upon a higher level. If the censorious complained 
because no more had been accomplished, the just- 
minded were disposed to applaud because the move- 
ment as a whole had been in the right direction. 

398 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870 

The most striking testimony to the success of 
Grant's Administration was the effort of his op- 
ponents to follow his lead, and go even beyond 
him in the direction he had marked out. The op- 
position within the Republican party gradually 
organised into what was known as the Liberal Re- 
publican movement. This originated in a conven- 
tion held at Jefferson City, Missouri, January 24, 
1872, which demanded equal suffrage for all, com- 
plete amnesty for all, and " a genuine reform of the 
tariff," so as to relieve the people of the burden of 
taxation imposed for the benefit of favoured inter- 
ests. Aside from these positive demands, the 
resolutions consisted of a series of declarations of 
superior virtue, such as the " Outs " are always able 
to make at the expense of the " Ins." They closed 
with a call for a National Convention to be held at 
Cincinnati on May 1st, following. This Convention 
met May 1, 1872, and passed a series of resolutions, 
all of which might have been subscribed to by Grant, 
or by any one of his supporters. As the Liberal Re- 
publicans were not agreed on the subject of protec- 
tion and free trade, they remitted " the discussion 
of the subject to the people in their Congressional 
districts, and to the decision of Congress thereon." 

The principal candidates for the Presidency before 
the Liberal Republican Convention were Charles 
Francis Adams and Horace Greeley. On the sixth 
ballot the choice fell to Mr. Greeley; and B. Gratz 
Brown of Missouri was nominated for Vice-Presi- 
dent. To the astonishment of the country, the 
Democratic Convention which met at Baltimore, 


1873] Re-election. 399 

July 9, 1872, ratified these nominations, in spite 
of the fact that Mr. Greeley had been through life 
the most vigorous and effective opponent of the 
Democracy, and was the embodied representation of 
everything that a Democrat did not believe. The 
cry was " anything to beat Grant," and Liberal 
Republicans and Democrats were equally confidentof 
their inability to accomplish this result without help. 

John B. Vance, the ex-Governor of North Caro- 
lina, said: " If Old Grimes is in the Democratic 
Hymn-book, we will sing it through if it kills us." 
All Democrats were not so complacent, and what 
were called the " Straight-out Democrats " held a 
convention and nominated Charles O'Conor of New 
York for President, and John Quincy Adams of 
Massachusetts for Vice-President. Though both 
these gentlemen declined, the ticket received a few 
votes. No more could the Liberal Republicans 
agree among themselves, and a meeting of the 
discontented was held at New York, June 20, 1872, 
pursuant to an invitation signed by Carl Schurz, 
Jacob D. Cox, William Cullen Bryant, Oswald Ot- 
tendorfer, David A. Wells, and Jacob BrinkerhorT. 
At this meeting resolutions were adopted, and 
William S. Groesbeck, of Ohio, was proposed for 
President, and Frederick Law Olmstead, of New 
York, for Vice-President. 

The Republicans now had the grim satisfaction 
of seeing their opponents divided into four hostile 
camps, the Democrats joining in the effort to elect 
a man whose principles and record were abhorrent 
to them. 

4-00 Ulysses S. Grant. [1870- 

The regular Republican Convention assembled at 
Philadelphia, June 5, 1872, and renominated Grant 
by acclamation as their candidate for the Presi- 
dency. Henry Wilson of Massachusetts was nomi- 
nated for Vice-President. The platform presented 
the " glorious record of the past " as " the party's 
best pledge for the future." Aside from this, the 
resolutions made no distinct issue with the declara- 
tions of other conventions, except the last, which 
was as follows : 

" We believe that the modest patriotism, the 
earnest purpose, the sound judgment, the practical 
wisdom, the incorruptible integrity, and the illustri- 
ous services of Ulysses S. Grant, have commended 
him to the heart of the American people, and, with 
him at our head, we start to-day upon a new march 
to victory." 

This was really the only issue before the country : 
Should or should not the Administration of Grant 
be approved ? The nomination of his chief oppo- 
nent was described by the New York Nation as 
" the first attempt of that large class of quacks, 
charlatans, ignoramuses, and sentimentalists who 
are engaged in every civilised country to-day in try- 
ing to substitute the heart for the head — or, in 
other words, to make singing, weeping, and wailing 
do in politics the work of memory and judgment — 
to get possession of the Government of the United 

The issue was made up, and the decision was left 
to the people. That decision was emphatic. Grant 
and Wilson carried every Northern State in the No- 

rU3UC Mf 

1 873] Re-election. 40 1 

vember election, and received 286 votes in the Elect- 
oral College to 18 for Greeley and Brown. Grant's 
popular majority over Greeley was 763,007 votes. 
No victory had been so complete since James Mon- 
roe was re-elected President in 1820 by a nearly 
unanimous vote of the Electoral College. In 1868, 
Mr. Lincoln received an equally large percentage of 
the vote cast, but no Southern State took part in 
that election. 

Those accustomed to the rough and tumble of 
politics could not appreciate Grant's sensitiveness to 
the criticisms impeaching his integrity, forgetting 
that to doubt a soldier's honour is as offensive as to 
question a woman's virtue. The " silent man " did 
not conceal the satisfaction he felt at receiving such 
proof that the plots of his enemies had not lessened 
public confidence in him. 

There are few men who cannot recall some occa- 
sion in life where bitter feeling was aroused by 
wounded amour propre. This was the secret of the 
most active opposition to Grant. The selfish nature 
of that opposition had been made apparent by the 
complete sacrifice of principle and consistency shown 

by his opponents in their attempt to defeat him. 




N his Inaugural Address, delivered on 
March 4, 1875, at the Capitol in 
Washington, at the commencement 
of his second term as President of 
the United States, Grant gave ex- 
pression to his keen sense of the injustice done to 
him by vindictive criticism. He referred to his 
conscientious performance of public duty, without 
rest or remission, for the twelve years succeeding 
the eventful firing on Fort Sumter, in April, 1861, 
saying, in conclusion : 

11 Notwithstanding this, throughout the war, and from my candidacy 
for my present office, in 1868, to the close of the last presidential 
campaign, I have been the subject of abuse and slander, scarcely ever 
equaled in political history, which to-day I feel that I can afford to 
disregard, in view of your verdict, which I gratefully accept as my 

In making up the Cabinet for the second term, 
Fish was continued as Secretary of State, Belknap 


1873-76] Second Term. 403 

as Secretary of War, Williams as Attorney-General, 
Delano as Secretary of the Interior. William A. 
Richardson succeeded Boutwell as Secretary of the 
Treasury, and was followed in succession by Benj. 
F. Bristow, June 4, 1874, and Lot M. Morrill, July 
7, 1876. Alphonso Taft succeeded Belknap in the 
War office, March 8, 1876, and was, on May 22, 
1876, transferred to the office of Attorney-General, 
succeeding Edwards Pierrepont, who had followed 
Williams, April 26, 1875. J. Donald Cameron was 
appointed Secretary of War, May 22, 1876. Cress- 
well retired from the Post-Office Department, and 
was followed by James W. Marshall, July 7, 1874, 
Marshall Jewell, August 27, 1874, and James W. 
Tyner, July 12, 1876. 

The selection of General Belknap for Secretary of 
War proved to be an unfortunate one. He was one 
of three ex-officers of Volunteers recommended for 
the place by Generals Sherman and Sheridan, at the 
request of the President ; he was the son of an army 
officer who fought with Grant in Mexico, and as a 
Collector of Internal Revenue his record was excep- 
tionally good ; yet he fell, as Adam fell in Eden, 
and he had the same excuse for his fall. He was 
detected in dishonest transactions in connection 
with post-traderships in the Army, resigned, and 
was impeached, but escaped trial on the theory 
that being no longer a Cabinet officer, he was not 
subject to the jurisdiction of the Senate. He was in 
many respects an excellent Secretary of War, and 
the disgraceful closing of his career was a surprise 
to all who knew him. 

404 Ulysses S. Grant. [1873- 

In his Inaugural Address the President had 
said: " Let it be understood that no repudiator of 
one farthing of our public debt will be trusted in 
public place, and it will go far towards strengthen- 
ing a credit which ought to be the best in the world, 
and will ultimately enable us to replace the debt 
with bonds bearing less interest than we now pay." 
His faithful adherence to the principle of national 
integrity, through evil report and good report, is 
shown in his various communications to Congress 
in annual and special Messages. The favourable 
condition of our national exchequer to-day is a 
direct result of the clear intelligence and high sense 
of national honour shown by President Grant in 
dealing with the problems of finance, concerning 
which he was supposed to be so ill-informed. The 
first bill he ever signed was an act to " strengthen 
public credit." approved March 18, 1869. It was 
a declaratory act, in answer to the resolution of the 
Democratic platform in the preceding Presidential 
election in favour of paying all public debts in paper 
except when coin was specifically named in the law. 
The Democrats in Congress united in opposition to 
it, a few Republicans, under the lead of General 
Butler, voting with them. The bill promised the 
payment of all Government obligations, notes and 
bonds, in coin or its equivalent, except where the 
agreement expressly provided for the payment in 
lawful money. 

In his first Inaugural Address, Grant had urged 
that measures should be taken to secure a prompt 
return to specie payment, and a series of legis- 

1876] Financial Reform. 405 

iative acts having this object in view were passed 
during his Administration, culminating in the act 
of January 14, 1875, providing for the redemption 
after January 1, 1879, °f United States legal-tender 
notes, in coin. The expected result followed, and 
the paper dollar, worth only seventy-six cents in 
coin when Grant assumed office, advanced in value 
over thirty per cent., or within two or three cents 
of par, before he retired to private life. The sound- 
ness of his views on the subjects of currency and 
finance is shown not only in his official documents, 
but in private letters which were unmistakably the 
work of his own hand. 

The most marked illustration of the President's 
determination to maintain the national credit at a 
high level is found in his veto, April 22, 1874, of 
what is known as the Inflation Act, " a bill to fix 
the amount of the United States Notes, and the 
circulation of National Banks, and for other pur- 
poses." It proposed to add one hundred millions 
to the paper circulation, and was, as the President 
declared in his veto message, M a departure from 
the true principles of finance, national interest, 
national obligations to creditors, Congressional 
promises, party pledges on the part of both political 
parties — and of personal views and promises made 
by me in every Annual Message sent to Congress, 
and in each Inaugural Address." Grant had shown 
his habitual determination of purpose in constantly 
urging the withdrawal from circulation of a medium 
of exchange having a fluctuating value, and " only 
worth," as he said, " what it will purchase of gold 

4o6 Ulysses S. Grant. [1873- 

and silver, metals having an intrinsic value just in 
proportion to the honest labour it takes to produce 

The pressure upon the President to secure his 
signature to the inflation bill was very great, and he 
was always reluctant to interfere with the progress 
of legislation by a veto, believing that others were 
as competent as himself to decide what wisdom 
required. It was a period of financial distress, and 
from all directions came a demand for more money, 
and a persistent assertion of the pernicious principle 
that it was in the power of the Government to cre- 
ate money to any extent, by simply setting its paper 
mills and presses to work. The President so far 
yielded to this pressure at one time, as to decide 
upon signing the bill, and he sat down to write a 
statement of his reasons for doing so. In endeav- 
ouring to find satisfactory reasons for departing 
from the declared purpose of his Administration 
and his party, it became clear to him that he would 
have to manufacture excuses for doing what did not 
approve itself to his judgment and his conscience. 
This was impossible to a man of his integrity of 
mind. He tore up the message of approval which 
he was preparing, after struggling over it for many 
hours, and rapidly wrote the veto message he sent 
to Congress. 

Nothing in Grant's career more clearly illustrates 
than does this veto the influences that determined 
his action in great matters. The question as to 
how a given decision might influence his own fort- 
unes, the fortunes of his party, or even the fate of 

1876] Financial Reform. 407 

his country, was always dominated in his mind by 
the larger question as to what was right in itself. 
If he was clear in his opinion that the step immedi- 
ately before him was the right one to take, he gave 
himself no concern as to whither it might lead. 
Thus he was as calmly confident in adversity as in 
victory; when criticism and complaint pursued him, 
as when the echo of public applause gave such as- 
surance as it could that his course was in the right 

Again, when the bill to restore specie payments 
was sent to him for signature in January, 1875, the 
President showed how keenly he appreciated the 
importance of a sound financial policy, by following 
the unusual plan of accompanying his approval of 
the bill with a special message, in which he declared 
that it was a subject of congratulation that a meas- 
ure had become a law which fixed a date when 
specie resumption should commence. He suggested 
further legislation to make the bill more effective. 

Let it be remembered by those who oppose na- 
tional extravagance that the appropriations for pen- 
sions, which amounted to one hundred and forty 
millions in the year 1896, were only twenty-eight 
millions in the last year of Grant's term, 1877, and 
showed a decrease that year of nearly seven mil- 
lions, as compared with 1871. Of his few veto 
messages, one was that refusing his signature to a 
Bounty Bill. 

President Grant also interested himself in matters 
of tariff legislation, his policy being to limit the 
tariff to luxuries that the country could dispense 

408 Ulysses S. Grant [1873- 

with, and articles called for in excess of our ability 
to produce them, admitting, free, articles not pro- 
duced in the United States, including tea, coffee, 
and other articles in universal use. Incidental to 
the changes in Customs Law, was the passage of a 
bill, in 1874, making radical changes in Treasury 
methods which had prevailed since the foundation 
of the Government, and substituting specific salaries 
for the moieties and perquisites theretofore allowed 
the customs officers for the detection of fraud upon 
the revenue. Though these were sanctioned by 
precedent and law, they had become a source of 
oppression to merchants, and a public scandal, due 
to harsh and arbitrary interference with the trans- 
action of mercantile business. 

Improvements were also made in the administra- 
tion of the law for the collection of internal revenue, 
but "where the carcass is, the eagles will be gathered 
together." The immense sums collected from the 
whiskey tax, amounting to over fifty millions of 
dollars a year, offered the temptation, and defects 
in the law the opportunity, for dishonest men. 
Early in the year 1875 an extensive conspiracy to 
defraud the Government was discovered in St. 
Louis, and on May 10th, sixty-one distilleries and 
rectifying houses were seized by officers of the 
Treasury Department. Numerous prosecutions of 
dishonest Government agents and others followed. 
When the matter was brought to his attention, 
General Grant issued an order that became famous : 

Let no guilty man, however high, escape." But 
partisan malice and personal hostility, sought to 

1876] Reconstruction Completed. 409 

fasten upon him the responsibility for the loss of 
several millions of revenue, due to defects in the 
law that were corrected as soon as discovered. 

The law then in existence apparently assumed 
that the two thousand three hundred storekeepers 
and gaugers, scattered over the country, were too 
honest to be tempted by the bribes of distillers, and 
no proper system of surveillance over them was pro- 
vided. The President's generous nature prompted 
him to sympathise, in a measure, with men who had 
been subjected to unusual and improper tempta- 
tions, and who were, as he believed, selected for 
punishment, not because they were more guilty 
than others, but because their punishment promoted 
the selfish ambition of men in authority. He was 
anxious that the law should be enforced with im- 
partiality and strict justice, but he did not approve 
of what he regarded as an attempt to make political 
and personal capital out of the misfortunes of others, 
even though they were unworthy. 

During our Civil War the ordinary machinery of 
public administration was destroyed, or strained to 
the breaking point. Everything had to be read- 
justed, and adjusted in the greatest haste, to entirely 
new conditions. New laws were passed, involving 
the collection and expenditure of hundreds of mil- 
lions of dollars, under the direction of officials un- 
tried in their new duties, if not unfitted for them. 
Unwonted temptations came to men who had not 
been proved. Taking these conditions, in con- 
nection with the vicious system of appointment to 
office, it was inevitable that there should be much 

4 to Ulysses S. Grant U873 

looseness, and some dishonesty, revealed. It was 
President Grant's misfortune that he had fallen heir 
to the loose methods resulting from enormous ex- 
penditures made under conditions that weakened 
the official sense of public accountability. It was 
his effort to discover defects, and when he honestly 
revealed them unfair attempts were made to hold 
him responsible for them. 

The war was followed by an immense develop- 
ment of mental activity, vast progress in mechanical 
improvement, and great industrial and financial 
changes. To this day the ablest political econo- 
mists and publicists are discussing the meaning and 
the future results of these changes. Grant was held 
responsible by excited public sentiment, as have 
been those who succeeded him, for results originat- 
ing in causes beyond political control. The fetich 
worshipper, who beats his idol when it will not 
give him rain, is as common in civilised society as 
in the jungles of Africa. 

The Indian Bureau was one of the departments 
which required thorough reorganisation, for there 
was constant complaint of dishonesty or irregularity 
in the distribution of supplies for the Indians. 
Grant shared the sympathy that is felt by all Army 
officers for the aborigines, of whose ignorance ad- 
vantage was taken by shifty contractors. As a lieu- 
tenant in the Army, he had been thrown much in 
contact with the Indians in early life ; he had wit- 
nessed the unjust treatment they received, and had 
resolved that if he ever had any influence or power 
he would endeavour to ameliorate their condition. 

1876] Reconstruction Completed. 4 1 1 

When the opportunity offered, he was faithful to 
this promise of his youth. Believing that officers 
of the Army were honest as a class, and that they 
would treat the Indians with justice and considera- 
tion, he endeavoured, but without success, to per- 
suade Congress to transfer the care of the Indians 
from the Department of the Interior to the War 

Failing in this, he called upon the various relig- 
ious bodies of the country to assist him in the 
selection of Indian agents. In his first Annual 
Message he had declared that " a system which 
looks to the extinction of a race is too horrible for a 
nation to adopt without entailing upon itself the 
wrath of all Christendom, and engendering in the 
citizen a disregard for human life, and the rights of 
others, dangerous to society." To avoid this, he 
proposed to gather the Indians on reservations, 
under territorial Governments, and to induce them 
to take their land in severalty. This is the policy 
that has since been pursued, but the greatest factors 
in quieting the Indians have been the completion of 
transcontinental railroads, and the consequent de- 
struction of the buffalo. Grant foresaw and predicted 
the result that would follow these causes, but he 
found it impossible to carry out, in freedom, the 
policy which would in time lessen Indian outrages. 

In one of his conversations, reported by Mr. 
Young, General Grant said: " there is nothing 
more natural than that a President, new to his 
office, should enter upon a policy of conciliation. 
He wants to make everybody friendly, to have all 

412 Ulysses S. Grant C1873 

the world happy, to be the central figure of a con- 
tented and prosperous commonwealth. This is 
what occurs to every President ; it is an emotion 
natural to the office." One of his roseate expecta- 
tions when he assumed office was that he would be 
able to reconcile the South to the new order; but in 
this he failed. There was never a moment, he 
declared, when he would not have gone half-way to 
meet the Southern people in a spirit of conciliation, 
but they never responded, believing that by an alli- 
ance with the party in opposition to the Administra- 
tion they could control the Government. During 
the whole of his first term, and during much of his 
second term, the country was kept in a ferment of 
excitement by the disputes concerning the control 
of elections in the Southern States. The condition 
of affairs at that time is well described by the Su- 
preme Court of Mississippi in a decision rendered in 
1896. In this the learned judge said of Mississippi, 
which was a typical State : 

41 Our unhappy State had passed in rapid succession from civil war, 
through a period of military occupancy, followed by another in which 
the control of public affairs had passed to a recently enfranchised 
race unfitted by education or experience for the responsibility thrust 
upon it. This was succeeded by a semi-military, semi-civil uprising, 
under which the white race, inferior in number, but superior in 
spirit, in governmental instinct, and in intelligence, was restored to 
power. The anomaly was then presented of a government whose 
distinctive characteristic was that it rested upon the will of the 
majority, being controlled and administered by a minority of those 
entitled under its organic law to exercise the electoral franchise. 
Within the field of permissible action under the limitations imposed 
by the federal constitution the convention swept the circle of ex- 
pedients to obstruct the exercise by the negro race of the franchise." 

1876] Reconstruction Completed, 413 

Immediately after his entrance upon his first term. 
Grant sent a special message to Congress, suggest- 
ing that to restore the remaining States to their 
proper relations to the Government, it was desirable 
to remove all causes of irritation as promptly as 
possible, that a more perfect union might be estab- 
lished, and the country restored to peace and pros- 
perity. Early in the following year the work of 
reconstruction was completed ; the military govern- 
ments whose just and fair administration had secured 
the peace of the South, were now withdrawn, and 
race and class interests once more started into activ- 
ity. The law still required the President to inter- 
fere with local affairs when this seemed necessary 
to preserve the public peace, and he had authority 
to suspend the habeas corpus on occasion. This 
led to calls upon him involving the whole ques- 
tion of determining which of two rival State gov- 
ernments had the best claim upon his recognition. 
Whatever his decision, he was certain to be damned 
if he did, and damned if he did n't; for each fac- 
tion had the sympathies of one or the other of the 
two great parties dividing the country. 

The President was resolved to do impartial justice, 
but it was not easy to determine what justice re- 
quired. When he sought to ascertain the facts, he 
found himself perplexed by the problem that dis- 
turbed Pilate: " What is truth? " He endeavoured 
to carry out the laws with strict impartiality, and 
those who were opposed to these laws, criticised 
him, in effect, because he would not make the mis- 
takes that had ruined Johnson, and set up his own 

41 4 Ulysses S % Grant. [1873- 

will in opposition to the enactments of the Legisla- 
ture. Even his critics were forced to admit, how- 
ever, that he used the extraordinary powers conferred 
upon him with discretion and moderation. In his 
Annual Message, December, 1874, he said, " The 
whole subject of Executive interference with the 
affairs of the State is repugnant to public opinion. 
Unless most clearly on the side of law, such inter- 
ference becomes a crime." He declined as often as 
was possible to interfere with the administration of 
affairs at the South, and in answer to a call for 
troops from Governor Ames of Mississippi, he said to 
him, what he said in effect to others under like cir- 
cumstances, " The whole public are tired out with 
this annual autumnal outbreak in the South, and 
the great majority are ready now to condemn any 
interference on the part of the Government. I 
heartily wish that peace and good order may be 
restored without issuing the proclamation, but, if 
not, the proclamation must be issued." The Con- 
stitution required that the Federal Government 
should render its assistance to quell disturbances in 
the States under certain conditions, announcing by 
proclamation its intention to do so; and the Execut- 
ive of the State was the sole judge as to the emer- 
gency, when the Legislature was not in session. 
Though his official duty sometimes compelled him 
to recognise what were known as " Carpet-bag ' 
Governments at the South — that is, government by 
emigrants from the North and negroes under their 
influence — the President did not favour them. He 
perceived how essential it was to a successful govern- 

1876] Reconstruction Completed, 415 

ment at the South to avoid excluding from office 
the leaders of public opinion " merely because they 
were, before the Rebellion, of standing and charac- 
ter sufficient to be elected to positions requiring 
them to take oaths to support the Constitution, 
while admitting to eligibility those entertaining pre- 
cisely the same views, but of less standing in the 
community." This opinion was expressed as early 
as 1 87 1 in his Annual Message to Congress. 

It was Grant's habit while he was President to 
seek rest and recreation at the seaside, and this sub- 
jected him to ill-natured criticism which finally 
led to the adoption by the House on April 3, 1876, 
of a resolution demanding that the President should 
give an account of his performance of executive 
acts and duties while absent from " the seat of Gov- 
ernment established by law." The reply to this 
was dignified and crushing. The President denied 
the right of the Legislature " to require of the Ex- 
ecutive, an independent branch of the Government, 
co-ordinate with the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives, an account of the discharge of his appro- 
priate and purely executive offices, acts, and duties, 
either as to when, where, or how performed." At 
the same time he made a frank statement of the 
facts of the case, and showed that his practice had 
accorded with that of his predecessors, none of 
whom had " entertained the idea that their execut- 
ive offices could be performed only at the seat of 
Government," as " evidenced by the hundreds 
upon hundreds of such acts performed by my pre- 
decessors, in unbroken line, from Washington to 

41 6 Ulysses S. Grant. U873 

Lincoln." Jefferson was absent, for example, from 
the seat of Government seven hundred and ninety- 
six days, or more than one fourth of the period 
covered by his two terms of office. 

The public business did not suffer under Grant 
because it was transacted during a part of the 
year by telegraph and post. In the various depart- 
ments there was an increase in efficiency and econo- 
my from the moment he entered upon the Executive 
office. The yearly financial report showed a pro- 
gressive decrease in public expenditures, a steady re- 
duction in public debt and the interest account, and 
a corresponding lightening of the burdens of taxa- 
tion. The reduction in customs and internal reve- 
nue taxes during his eight years of office amounted 
to $158,000,000; the amount being nearly equally 
divided between customs dues and internal revenue 
taxes; thirty millions of this was represented by 
reduction in the cost of administering the Govern- 
ment, and thirty-two millions by a decrease in the 
interest on the public debt. The principal of the 
debt was decreased, meanwhile, by over four hun- 
dred millions. What remained of it was partially 
refunded at lower rates of interest. 

Among the recommendations contained in the 
various Messages of President Grant was one advis- 
ing the taxation of church property, and he urged 
Congress to legislate with reference to Mormon 
polygamy, the enslavement of the Chinese as coolies, 
and the debasement of Chinese women, by import- 
ing them for immoral purposes. Under his Admin- 
istration international relations with reference to 

1876] Reconstruction Completed, 417 

the delivery of postal matter were extended, all 
cities having ten thousand inhabitants or more, were 
included in the free-delivery system, postal-cards 
were adopted, and our Government took an active 
4 part in establishing the Universal Postal Union Jl 
which now covers the civilised world, represents 
one thousand million people, " brings the postal 
service of all countries to every man's neighbour- 
hood, and has wrought marvels in cheapening postal 
rates and securing absolutely safe mail communica- 
tion throughout the world." 

Among the " scandals " of his Administration 
was the transformation of Washington from a mud- 
hole, with provincial means of communication, into 
one of the handsomest capitals in the world, with 
an excellent system of intercommunication. Those 
who accomplished this great work learned some- 
thing of the ingratitude of republics, and that they 
who seek the interest of posterity, as in this case, 
do not always find it easy to secure the favour of 

It has never been found necessary to undo the 
work of Grant's two terms in the Presidency. Pro- 
gress has been along the lines he laid down, and our 
difficulties since have largely resulted from a neglect 
of the principles of finance and public administration 
he so clearly recognised. In such matters as the 
taxation of religious property, amounting in 1875 to 
one thousand million dollars ; in his arguments for 
the extension of our relations with South American 
States; his recommendations concerning the Isth- 
mus Canal; the possession of territory in the Car- 

41 8 Ulysses S. Grant. U873- 

ribbean Sea; and the establishment of continuous 
land-locked navigation along our coasts from Maine 
to the Gulf of Mexico, he was in advance of his 
time. If he incurred the malignant criticism of 
his contemporaries, as all Presidents have done in 
greater or lesser measure, posterity will rise up and 
call him blessed. 

As President Grant's second term of office drew 
near its close the question of his nomination for a 
third term became an important politica l issue. 
There was no constitutional prohibition against his 
re-election, but no President had ever been elected for 
a third term. This fact was assumed to establish a 
precedent, having the force of unwritten law, pro- 
hibiting a President from twice becoming his own 
successor. By a vote of 234 to 18, seventy Repub- 
licans voting in the affirmative, the House of Rep- 
resentatives passed a resolution declaring: 

44 That in the opinion of this House the precedent established by 
Washington and other Presidents of the United States, in declining a 
re-election after their second term, has become by universal concur- 
rence, a part of our Republican system of government, and that a 
departure from this time-honoured custom would be unwise, un- 
patriotic, and fraught with peril to our free institutions." 

The opponents of the Republican party and the 
Administration were filling the air with their lusty 
cries of " Caesarism," and calling on the President 
to define his position on the question of " the third 
term." These demands he treated with silent con- 
tempt, believing it to be beneath the dignity of his 
office to state his opinions " before the subject 

1876] Third-Term Controversy. 419 

should be presented by authority competent to 
make a nomination, or by a body of such dignity 
and authority as not to make a reply a fair subject 
of ridicule." But when the question of his re- 
nomination was formally considered by the Penn- 
sylvania State Convention, in May, 1875, Grant 
wrote a letter to the presiding officer of that Con- 
vention, in which he said : 

" Now, for the ' third term.' I do not want it any more than I did 
the first. I would not write nor utter a word to change the will of 
the people in expressing and having their choice. The question of 
the number of terms allowed to any one Executive can only come up 
fairly in the shape of a proposition to amend the Constitution, a 
shape in which all political parties can participate, fixing the length 
of time or the number of terms for which any one person shall be 
eligible for the office of President. Until such amendment is 
adopted the people cannot be restricted in their choice by reso- 
lution further than they are now restricted as to age, nativity, etc. It 
may happen in the future history of the country that to change an 
Executive because he has been eight years in office will prove unfor- 
tunate, if not disastrous. The idea that any man should elect himself 
President, or even renominate himself is preposterous. It is a re- 
flection upon the intelligence and patriotism of the people to suppose 
such a thing possible. Any man can destroy his chances for the 
office, but no one can force an election or even a nomination. To 
recapitulate : I am not, nor have I ever been a candidate for a 
renomination. I would not accept a nomination if it were tendered, 
unless it should come under such circumstances as to make it an 
imperative duty — circumstances not likely to arise." 

This was accepted as a positive refusal to become 
a candidate before the Republican Convention, and 
it was so intended. But, while declining in his own 
person to become a candidate for a third term, the 
President refused to pass judgment on a question 
that was not within his province to determine. 

420 Ulysses S. Grant. [1873- 

When the Republican Convention met at Cin- 
cinnati a year later, on June 14, 1876, Grant was 
not mentioned as a candidate, and Rutherford B. 
Hayes of Ohio was nominated on the seventh 
ballot, over his chief opponent, James G. Blaine. 
The Democrats met at St. Louis, June 28, and 
nominated as their candidate Samuel J. Tilden of 
New York. The election followed in November. 
Mr. Tilden received a plurality in the popular vote 
of 250,970 over Mr. Hayes, and a majority over all 
°f I 57>394- The question of his majority in the 
Electoral College was long in doubt. The accuracy 
or honesty of the returns from the States of Louisi- 
ana, South Carolina, Florida, and Oregon was in 
dispute. The air was filled with charges and coun- 
ter-charges of bribery and corruption. Public feel- 
ing was greatly excited, and there were partisan 
threats of interference with the inauguration of Mr. 
Hayes if he should be declared elected. These 
threats did not greatly disturb the old soldier in the 
White House, but he took all proper precaution. 
In a conversation with Mr. Young, he said : 

" I never believed there would be a blow, but I had so many 
warnings that I made all preparations. I knew all about the 
rifle clubs of South Carolina, for instance, the extent of whose or- 
ganization has never been made known. I was quite prepared for 
any contingency. Any outbreak would have been suddenly and sum- 
marily stopped. So far as that was concerned my course was clear, 
and my mind was made up. I did not intend to have two govern- 
ments, nor any South American pronunciamentos. I did not intend 
to receive ' commissioners from sovereign States ' as Buchanan did. If 
Tilden was declared elected, I intended to hand him over the reins, 
and see him peacefully installed. I should have treated him as cor- 
dially as I did Hayes, for the question of the Presidency was neither 

1876] Election of Hayes. 421 

personal nor political, but national. I tried to act with the utmost 
impartiality between the two. I would not have raised my finger to 
have put Hayes in, if in so doing I did Tilden the slightest injustice. 
All I wanted was for the legal powers to declare a President, to keep 
the machine running, to allay the passions of the canvass, and allow 
the country peace." 

At one time there was some idle talk of inaugu- 
rating Mr. Tilden in New York City, in the event 
of Mr. Hayes's inauguration at Washington, and 
establishing a rival capital. Even a contingency so 
remote was prepared for, by giving instructions to 
put New York in a state of siege, in such event, 
taking military possession of the narrow peninsula 
connecting it with the mainland, and, with the aid 
of the Navy, cutting off its supplies of food and 

In a memorable despatch to General Sherman, 
who was then the Commander of the Army, dated 
November the 10th, the President said : 

" Instruct General Augur in Louisania and General Ruger in 
Florida to be vigilant with the forces at their command to preserve 
peace and good order, and to see that the proper and legal boards of 
canvassers are unmolested in the performance of their duties. Should 
there be any grounds of suspicion of a fraudulent count on either side 
it should be reported and denounced at once. No man worthy of the 
office of President should be willing to hold it if counted in or placed 
there by fraud. Either party can afford to be disappointed in the 
result. The country cannot afford to have the result tainted by the 
suspicion of illegal or false returns." 

Congress finally passed a bill organising a Com- 
mission to determine the question of the count in 
the doubtful States, and Mr. Hayes was declared 
elected by a majority of one vote in the Electoral 

422 Ulysses S. Grant. [1873-76 

College. Thus, again, the firmness and good sense 
of Grant enabled the country to pass safely through 
a most serious crisis in its history. His mere pres- 
ence in command of the resources of the Nation was 
in itself sufficient to dissuade the violent from any 
attempt at incendiary proceedings. On March 4, 
1877, ne transferred to Mr. Hayes the powers of the 
high office he had exercised for eight years with 
such ability, fidelity, and devotion to the public 
interests, and quietly retired to private life. The 
cynics in the London clubs who had offered bets at 
the close of our Civil War that General Grant would 
within a few years be Emperor of the United States 
were disappointed, but lovers of liberty the world 
over rejoiced that free institutions had given certain 
proof of their ability to meet a crisis that would 
severely test the strength of any form of govern- 




MARCH, 1877-SEPTEMBER, 1879. 

r the close of his second term of office 
as President, General Grant found 
himself, for the first time in sixteen 
years, relieved from all official re- 
sponsibility, and free to follow his 
own course as a private citizen. His eight years of 
service as Chief Magistrate had been the most per- 
plexing and harassing of his public career, and he 
resolved to seek relaxation in foreign travel. As 
soon as he had ceased to be a political factor, his 
popularity revived, and men of all parties and all 
classes united in showing him honour. Dinners and 
banquets followed each other in rapid succession, 
and when, on May 17, 1877, the ex-President sailed 
from Philadelphia in the steamship Indiana for 
Liverpool he was accompanied down the Delaware 
by a distinguished party, and a fleet of vessels of 
every character followed the departing steamer for 
miles, making, as became a naval escort, all the 
noise they could. 


424 Ulysses S. Grant. [1877- 

The following twenty-eight months were spent in 
a journey around the world with a party consisting 
of two members of his family (Mrs. Grant and Jesse 
Grant), Mr. Borie, late Secretary of the Navy, and 
Mr. John Russell Young, who has recorded the 
experiences of the travellers in a volume entitled 
Around t J te World with General Grant. In most of 
the countries he visited, the General was received 
with the honours reserved for the rulers of king- 
doms, and with testimonials of personal respect 
that appeared to be as sincere as they were cordial. 
Rulers and statesmen conferred with him on ques- 
tions of government and public policy ; savants and 
scholars flocked to the receptions and dinners given 
in his honour; workingmen in England presented 
him with addresses, and the common people gath- 
ered by the wayside by tens of thousands to greet 
him as he passed, with a heartiness and good-will 
testifying to some deeper sentiment than idle curi- 
osity. If he was the peer and companion of kings, 
he was also in sympathy with the humblest of their 
subjects, and in the imagination of the lowly he 
bridged the gulf dividing them from the great and 
powerful. He visited, during his circuit of the 
globe, the principal cities of the British Islands and 
the Continent, Egypt, Palestine, Siam, Burmah, 
India, China, and Japan. In England he dined 
with the Queen and with the Prince of Wales, and 
was received with cordiality in the most exclusive 
society, but was treated with just sufficient reserve 
to make it apparent that he was not recognised as 
belonging to the purple. He was not accorded the 

1879] Two Years of Travel, 425 

precedence shown to him elsewhere, and a circular 
was sent by the English Foreign Office to its rep- 
resentatives abroad, directing that the attentions 
shown to him should be limited to those accorded 
to a distinguished citizen. 

In Belgium, the etiquette governing the inter- 
course of sovereigns was observed by King Leopold 
II., who called in person and invited General and 
Mrs. Grant to a dinner at the Royal Palace, where 
they were given precedence over all others. Similar 
courtesy was shown to the ex-President in Holland, 
where, in addition to the attentions extended to 
him by the King, he was invited by the chief cities 
to accept their hospitality. His brevity in speech, 
his impassive manner, and his constant cigar, put 
him en rapport with the Dutchmen. 

The Spanish Government settled the question of 
etiquette by receiving Grant with the highest mili- 
tary honours, those accorded to a Captain-General of 
the Spanish army, and the young King Alfonso, 
when he met him at Vittoria, entered into a very 
frank conversation concerning his own perplexities 
as a sovereign. " The General had seen something 
of them, and knew what they were." The King of 
Portugal invited him to a dinner and an audience at 
the Palace, consulted with him as to a translation 
he had made from English poets, and gave him a 
copy of his Portuguese rendering of Hamlet, with an 
autographic inscription. 

As General Grant reached Berlin just after an 
attempt had been made upon the life of Emperor 
William, he was courteously informed that nothing 

426 Ulysses S. Grant, [1877- 

but the imperative orders of the Emperor's physi- 
cian prevented an audience. Prince Bismarck was 
especially cordial in his attentions, finding time in 
the midst of his constant duties as Chancellor of the 
German Empire, and President of the Berlin Con- 
gress then in session, to show many courtesies, and 
to enter upon an exchange of views upon public 
matters at the General's hotel, and at his own home 
in Berlin, the Radziwill Palace. In Austria, Grant 
dined with the Emperor, and in Russia and Italy 
he received marked attentions, but only such as are 
shown to distinguished commoners. Marshal Mc- 
Mahon, the President of the French Republic, met 
him in the spirit of army comradeship, and the two 
old soldiers walked arm in arm in the Champs Ely- 
s£es, exchan^im; experiences, each speaking his 
own language which the other understood, but 
could not use fluently. On the whole, however, 
France was less cordial in her greetings than other 
countries, and Victor Hugo led in an attack upon 
the distinguished visitor, whose sympathy with 
Germany in the Franco-Prussian w r ar was ascribed 
to hostility toward France, whereas it was merely 
an expression of one of his few antipathies — a dis- 
like of Napoleon and Napoleonic methods. In 
Switzerland the General was entertained by the 
President with the simple but kindly etiquette 
becoming a republic. 

Grant made two visits to the British Islands, tak- 
ing a flying trip in the interval to Belgium, the 
Rhine Country, Switzerland, Northern Italy, Alsace 
and Lorraine. His progress through the United 

1879] Two Years of Travel. 427 

Kingdom was a continuous ovation. He was the 
lion of the London season, and within three weeks, 
three thousand cards were left at his door. He was 
recognised in the British Islands not only as the 
great soldier and pacificator, but also as one who, 
in power, had successfully exerted himself to estab- 
lish better relations between the English-speaking 
peoples. Scotland opened wide her arms to receive 
the most distinguished representative of her famous 
clan. He had ruled over more Irishmen than any 
sovereign save Victoria, and Irishmen by the thou- 
sands had marched to battle and victory under his 
standard. The Irish heart warmed toward him, 
and one little girl in an Irish crowd felt so near 
akin that she begged that he would carry her love 
home with him to her aunt in America. Various 
cities in England, Scotland, and Ireland bestowed 
their freedom on the great American, or made him at 
home among them as an adopted citizen. Through 
streets illuminated because of his presence, and 
under arches bearing inscriptions of welcome, he 
passed in triumphal procession to attend banquets 
given in his honour. Crowds gathered in-doors and 
out-of-doors to listen to his slightest word, and to 
greet what he said with the hearty British cheer; 
when he entered a theatre the performance was 
stopped, and the audience rose while the band 
played American airs, or some famous singer led 
the chorus ; the horses were taken from his car- 
riage, and he was drawn by sturdy arms through 
streets crowded with people eager to grasp his 

428 Ulysses S. Grant. [1877- 

But his trial came when the silent soldier was 
forced to meet the ceaseless flow of British elo- 
quence with speech. His responses to the greetings 
of some of the ablest representatives of English 
thought and English public sentiment were as 
felicitous in what was left unsaid as in what was 
said. The opportunities for striking jarring notes 
met the warrior, unaccustomed to speech, at every 
turn, but they were always skilfully avoided. The 
reserve proper to such occasions necessarily limited 
his range of thought, but in many a happy turn of 
expression Grant showed that he could not only 
think clearly but could express himself happily; as 
when at a dinner given to him by Thomas Hughes, 
the host, in proposing the health of his distin- 
guished guest, relieved him of the M burden of a 
formal reply," and Grant instantly arose and said: 

Mr. Hughes, I must none the less tell you what 
gratification it gives me to hear my health proposed 
in such hearty words by Tom Brown of Rugby." 

Again, as at Dublin, where, after receiving the 
freedom of the city, enclosed in an ancient carved 
bog oak casket, before proceeding to more serious 
matters, he said to his " fellow-citizens of Dublin, 
amid much cheering and laughter " : "I may return 
to Dublin one day, and run against Barrington for 
Mayor and Brett for Parliament, and I warn these 
gentlemen that I am a troublesome candidate." 

And witness this expression of noble sentiment at 
Glasgow, where the cheering was so general and 
continuous that the ceremonies could only be fol- 
lowed with difficulty: 

1879] Two Years of Travel. 429 

" Though I may not live to see the general settlement of National 
difficulties by arbitration, it will not be many years before that 
system of settlement will be adopted, and the immense standing 
armies that are depressing Europe by their great expense will be 
disbanded, and the arts of war almost forgotten in the general devo- 
tion of the people to the development of peaceful industries. I want 
to see, and I believe I shall see, Great Britain, the United States, 
and Canada joined with common purpose in the advance of civiliza- 
tion ; an invincible community of English-speaking nations that all 
the world beside could not conquer." 

Through experiences that called for a display not 
only of ability, but the highest qualities of the 
gentleman, the ex-President passed with credit to 
himself and honour to his countrymen. Even his 
propensity to " talk horse," and his affinity with 
" horsey " men commended him to the aristocracy 
of England, if they did bring upon him the disap- 
proval of priggish Americans who have no appre- 
ciation of any knowledge that is not fished for in an 
ink-horn. Nor was Grant's intercourse on the Con- 
tinent confined to royal and official circles. He was 
called upon by nearly every man of note in the 
various countries he visited. Richard Wagner, the 
composer, visited him at Heidelberg, but as neither 
gentleman could speak the other's language, the 
meeting was not prolific of social exchanges. This 
was not without its advantages, for Grant's know- 
ledge of music was in inverse ratio to his mastery of 
the art of war. It is doubtful whether he could 
have distinguished between " Yankee Doodle " and 
Sigmund's " Love Song." 

It was in the East, however, that Grant received 
the most distinguished honours. He carried with 

430 Ulysses S. Grant, [1877- 

him there not only the prestige of a great reputa- 
tion, but also wisdom that is the ripened fruit of 
experience and reflection, of a sound head and a 
good heart. Accustomed to a keen study of human 
nature, the rulers of the Orient, and especially those 
of China, Japan, and Siam, seemed to recognise as 
by instinct that here was a man worthy of their 
fullest confidence; one representing a great Nation, 
whose friendship for them was not subject to the 
suspicion of a desire for territorial aggrandisement 
at their expense. They had been long accustomed 
to the assertion of might against right in their inter- 
course with foreign nations, to interference with 
their national prerogatives, not in deference to 
some grave necessity of state, but as a mere display 
of the wantonness of power. Grant represented to 
them the idea of power restrained by right and 
justice in international intercourse. They consulted 
him freely about the most delicate matters of state, 
and the candour and fairness of judgment he showed 
deepened the impression, and established him in 
everlasting remembrance with those who profited by 
his wise advice. 

At Bangkok, a royal palace, adjoining that of the 
King of Siam, was placed at the General's disposal, 
and the King bestowed upon him what was in Siam 
an honour almost unheard of in that Oriental coun- 
try, namely, that of returning his visit. He was 
placed next to the King at a dinner attended by 
members of the royal family and other high func- 
tionaries. The King's brother, one of the " Celes- 
tial Princes," with a retinue of other princes and 

1879] Two Years of Travel. 431 

noblemen, was charged with the duty of looking 
after his comfort. The young King Chulalongkorn 
conceived the most sincere friendship for the Gen- 
eral. He sent him two personal letters welcoming 
him to Siam, and full of cordial expressions of 
good-will, also other letters while he was in the 
East, and corresponded with him upon his return to 

The progress through the Chinese Empire was a 
triumphal procession. The Emperor of China was 
at that time a boy of seven, and the ex-President 
was received at Pekin by Prince Kung, the Emper- 
or's uncle and representative. Grant gave the Prince 
advice which greatly impressed him, especially as 
coming from a foreigner, and so won upon his con- 
fidence and respect that he bespoke his good offices 
to settle a dispute of long standing with Japan con- 
cerning the Loo Choo Islands. This dispute was 
brought to a conclusion satisfactory to both Gov- 
ernments by the interposition of General Grant. 
Between the American General and Li Hung Chang, 
the great Viceroy of China, there was a bond of 
sympathy, having its origin in a similarity of expe- 
rience, and to some extent in a similarity of charac- 
ters, developed though they were in such different 
schools of training. The barrier of suspicion which 
closes the Oriental mind to the modern ideas domi- 
nating the West was torn down in the intercourse 
between these two great men. 

No man visiting China for a brief period has ever 
had the opportunity to impress himself upon the 
statesmen controlling the destinies of that great Em- 

432 Ulysses S. Grant, [1877- 

pire which came freely to this simple citizen of the 
United States, holding no official position, bearing 
no message of peace or war, and powerful only in 
the ripeness of his experience, in the vigour of his 
thought, and in the homely honesty and simplicity 
of his character. Over the road the English armies 
had marched when they destroyed and entered the 
Summer Palace at Pekin, this plain American was 
conveyed with honours accorded only to the high- 
est, and returned leaving behind him an impress- 
ion, which, according to high authority, had done 

more than anything else to break down the great 
wall between China and the outer world." 

On his arrival in the harbour of Nagasaki, Prince 
Dati, the head of one of the oldest and most power- 
ful of the Daimio families, came aboard the steamer 
to greet the General in the name of the Emperor 
of Japan, and at Tokio he was lodged in one of the 
palaces of the Tycoon. Pictures of him, in heroic 
attitudes, were to be seen in the shop windows of 
Japan, and wherever he went through the streets, 
the courteous Japanese lined up by the wayside 
and bowed a greeting. 

His chief delight was to come in contact with the 
people, that he might form his own conclusions 
with regard to their customs and habits. He was a 
tireless traveller, and laid out his route with great 
exactness in advance, following it with military pre- 
cision. Thus he was able to make the most of his 
time, and it was in spite of himself that he was 
obliged to see so much of the world through the 
veil of official ceremonies and court functions. 

1879] Two Years of Travel. 433 

Circumstances favouring, the Emperor of Japan 
took pains to select the anniversary of America's 
Independence as the day for receiving the American 
ex-President. When they met, his Imperial Majesty 
advanced and shook hands, somewhat awkwardly, 
and as one performing an unaccustomed function, 
for it was the first time that such a courtesy had 
ever been shown by the Emperor, and it was the 
greatest innovation upon the unbroken traditions of 
exclusiveness and sanctity guarding the oldest royal 
line in the world, one having the prestige of twelve 
hundred years of descent through a continuous suc- 
cession of royal ancestors. 

Grant was even more burdened with official cere- 
mony when travelling abroad than he was at Wash- 
ington ; but he was free from care and responsibility, 
the endless weariness of selfish importunity, and the 
oppression of constant criticism and complaint. 
This freedom refreshed his spirit so much that when 
he reached home, his friends noticed the absence of 
the anxious look they had observed during his last 
years in public office. On his return to America he 
was much surprised by a greeting that showed how 
little the people had been affected by the slanders 
circulated to his discredit by political rivals and cen- 
sorious critics, whose tongues should have blistered 
before they uttered them. 

Reaching San Francisco on the evening of Satur- 
day, September 20, 1879, ne was me ^ a ^ quarantine 
by a delegation of distinguished representatives of 
the city in which twenty-five years before he had 

landed with an empty pocket, and perplexed to know 

434 Ulysses S. Grant [1877- 

where he was to find a night's lodging and a sup- 
per. Receptions, speeches, and functions of various 
sorts occupied the succeeding two months during 
General Grant's visit to the Pacific coast, and his 
progress to his home in Galena, Illinois. Every- 
where he went he was called upon to exercise his 
recently developed gifts as a public speaker, and he 
delivered some thirty speeches in response to a flood 
of eloquence from governors, senators, municipal 
authorities, and statesmen. 

An interesting feature of his reception, and one 
that deeply touched Grant's heart, was the greeting 
he received from the children belonging to the pub- 
lic schools in the various cities through which he 
passed. They met him with songs and cheers, and 
deluged him with flowers. Those interested in pub- 
lic education remembered with gratitude the import- 
ant services which he had rendered to their cause, 
and they recalled especially the speech he had made 
to his comrades of the Army of the Tennessee at 
their reunion at Des Moines, Iowa, September 29, 
1875. It was one °f the most elaborate speeches he 
ever made, and perhaps the most eloquent. 

In it he said : 

" Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar appro- 
priated for their support shall be appropriated to the support of 
any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the State nor Nation, not 
both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those 
sufficient to afford to every child growing up in the land the oppor- 
tunity for a good common-school education, unmixed with sectarian, 
pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion to the 
family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by 
private contributions. Keep the Church and State forever separate. 

1879] Two Years of Travel. 435 

In another speech made during this journey from 
San Francisco to his home, he said: " I think 
that if there ever is another war in this country it 
will be one of ignorance and superstition combined 
against education and intelligence." 

The reception of the ex-President culminated at 
Chicago, where, on November 12, 1879, ne was re_ 
ceived and escorted from the station, through the 
rain and mud, by a procession of from ten to twelve 
thousand soldiers and civilians, under the command 
of General Sheridan. The city was elaborately dec- 
orated in his honour, some of the most imposing dis- 
plays adorning the houses of those who were known 
as his political opponents. Grant's comrades of the 
Army of the Tennessee were holding their annual 
session in Chicago at the time, and added their plau- 
dits to the general welcome. No one who has not 
experienced it can realize how the old soldier is 
moved to the very depths of his being by anything 
that recalls his days of danger and comradeship, and 
how completely he abandons himself to the intoxi- 
cation of enthusiasm in the presence of a leader who 
represents his days of glory and honour. 

" This, too, shall have an end." Grant's days of 
travel and excitement were over for the time being, 
and in his quiet home at Galena he settled down to 
dreams of leisure and domestic tranquility. But vast 
changes had occurred during the eighteen years since 
he left the leather store in Galena, to resume his 
sword in the service of his country. He was no 
longer in harmony with his surroundings; restless- 
ness and a desire for new scenes succeeded content. 

43 6 Ulysses S. Grant. [1877- 

In the winter of 1879 ne made a visit to Cuba and 
Mexico, returning to Galena in the early Spring. In 
the following Summer he visited Colorado, and made 
a thorough examination of its mineral resources. 
This visit resulted in his election as president of a 
mining company. 

Meanwhile the Presidential election was approach- 
ing, and Senators Conkling, Cameron, and Logan, 
representing the great States of New York, Penn- 
sylvania, and Illinois, were uniting their efforts to 
secure Grant's renomination for President. They 
were greatly dissatisfied with Mr. Hayes's Adminis- 
tration, and remembered how narrowly they had 
escaped defeat at the time of his candidacy, through 
the fortunate turn of events that gave them the ma- 
jority in the Electoral Commission. They believed 
that under the banner of Grant they could once 
more march to victory, but they could not obtain 
from him any formal consent to their plans, though 
his acquiescence in the election of delegates to the 
Convention pledged to vote for him, was accepted 
as a tacit consent to the use of his name. Grant 
always felt that he was the creature of events, and, 
as he tells us, had a superstitious feeling about in- 
terfering with the order of Divine Providence by 
seeking his own advancement in any way. He 
showed the same apparent indifference to the move- 
ment in his behalf that he had shown when he was 
chosen President for a first and second time. In 
this case, however, his feelings were more warmly 
enlisted, and his unspoken desire for renomination 
was stimulated by the wish of his family that he 
should return to office. 

1879] Two Years of Travel. 437 

Among intimate friends with whom he could talk 
freely, he carefully calculated the probabilities of 
his being invited to resume a career in which he had 
made such distinguished success, and in which he 
felt that he could add still further to his own re- 
nown, and to the glory of his country. 

Foreign travel, and especially his travels in Ori- 
ental countries, had warmed his imagination with 
the idea of great results to follow the formulation of 
a broader international policy. His ambition was 
legitimate and honourable, and as experience has 
since shown in the case of President Cleveland, his 
enemies entirely exaggerated the popular hostility 
to the nomination of the same man for a third time 
as a candidate for the office of Chief Magistrate. 
As a Presidential term intervened between Grant's 
retirement from office, and the presentation of his 
name before the Republican Convention of 1880, 
the two cases were analogous. 

When the Convention met at Chicago, in June, 
1880, Grant led the ballot with 304 votes, to 284 for 
Mr. Blaine, and 167 scattered among three other 
candidates. He held his friends together during an 
exciting contest of 36 ballots extending over two 
days, his smallest vote being 302, and the largest 
313. Finally, the opposition concentrated on James 
A. Garfield, of Ohio, and he was, on the 36th ballot, 
nominated by 399 votes, to 307 for Grant and 50 
scattered votes. Previous to the Convention, earn- 
est efforts had been made by some of Grant's friends 
to persuade him to withdraw from the contest, and 
they succeeded so far as to induce him to write a 
letter authorising his friends, if they saw fit, to with- 

438 Ulysses S. Grant. [1877- 

draw his name from the Convention. He accepted 
his defeat with much better grace than did some 
of his supporters, and exerted himself to persuade 
Senator Conkling, who had led his forces before the 
Convention, to enter the field in behalf of the ticket 
nominated. He joined the Senator in a tour through 
the country, attending political meetings, making 
political speeches, and contributing very much to 
the result that followed in the election of General 
Garfield. The heart of Conkling was not in the 
canvass, and to John Russell Young he said, after 
his manner, "The battle of Waterloo put back prog- 
ress in France at least six centuries. The defeat 
of Grant has put back the progress of this country 
just as much." 

When Grant became satisfied that his political 
record was closed, the question of choosing some 
other career presented itself to him. He was too 
active-minded a man to be idle, and the necessities 
of income compelled him to seek occupation, if he 
was not to be condemned to vegetating in a little 
Illinois town, or to living on a farm. Life in Galena 
was too dull and monotonous for a man who had 
passed through such varied and thrilling experi- 
ences ; and a man of his public reputation needed the 
freedom of a great capital, which furnishes as near 
an approach to the independence of the wilderness 
as modern life affords. So he resolved to move to 
the city of New York, where he had numerous 
friends and admirers, some of whom had raised a 
fund amounting to $250,000, and trusteed it for the 
benefit of Mrs. Grant. The great city also offered 
the opportunity for a career, to his three sons, 

1879] Two Years of Travel, 439 

concerning whose future he had a father's tender 

The recollection of his early experiences in 
Mexico was one of the romances of Grant's life, and 
subsequent experiences had strengthened his early 
impressions. He had a high idea of the character 
of the Mexicans, decided opinions as to the re- 
sources of their great country, and the possibilities 
of its development, and statesmanlike views as to 
the cultivation of more intimate relations between 
the United States and Mexico. Though he was 
not, as a rule, fond of foreigners in personal re- 
lations, he had conceived an almost romantic at- 
tachment for Senor Romero, for many years the 
representative of the Mexican Republic at Wash- 
ington, and his attachment was reciprocated. He 
talked over his various projects with Romero, and 
together they conceived the idea of organising a 
company, with American capital, to build a railroad 
from the City, of Mexico to the frontier of Guate- 
mala, with branches running north to the Gulf of 
Mexico and south to the Pacific Ocean. This com- 
pany was organised as the " Mexican National Rail- 
way," and General Grant was elected president, his 
office being established in New York. Though an 
important concession was obtained from the Mex- 
ican Government, the enterprise did not prove 

General Grant made two visits to Mexico, one in 
1880 and another in the Spring of 1881, with refer- 
ence to this railroad enterprise. At a dinner given 
to him at the City of Mexico, April 22, 1881, he 

44-0 Ulysses S. Grant. [1877-79 

"I am sure that even if it could be shown that all the people 
of Mexico were in favor of the annexation of a portion of their 
territory to the United States it would still be rejected (by the United 
States). We want no more land. We do want to improve what we 
have, and we want to see our neighbors improve and grow so strong 
that the design of any other country could not endanger them." 

By resolution of the Senate, passed April 5, 1882, 
negotiations for a commercial treaty with Mexico 
were authorised, and President Arthur appointed 
General Grant and Mr. William Henry Trescot, 
Commissioners. They negotiated a treaty which 
was signed at Washington, January 20, 1883, and 
approved by the Senate after a long debate, but the 
laws necessary to carry it into effect were not passed. 
Though the treaty was a fair and just one, and 
would have resulted in great benefits to both coun- 
tries, it interfered with selfish interests, and sub- 
jected its authors to the most unjust reflections 
upon the disinterestedness of their motives. No 
longer in a place of power, Grant was without influ- 
ence to secure the adoption of his views. 

The scheme for building a railroad in Mexico 
was one of international importance, though ill for- 
tune attended it as it did other projects upon which 
General Grant was persuaded to enter at this time. 
The clouds of misfortune were gathering thick 
about the head of the old soldier. His supersti- 
tions, or premonitions, as to the result of any 
attempt to advance merely selfish interests of his 
own, were destined to a speedy and bitter fulfil- 
ment. Once more the world was to be taught by 
conspicuous example that the noblest characters 
must be refined as if by fire. 




URING General Grant's visit to Eu- 
rope, although he was really a na- 
tional representative, he travelled at 
his own expense, paying his own 
mess bills when transported in a na- 
tional vessel, so that the courtesies of Government 
were as costly as the expenses of private convey- 
ance. He took from his little capital a fund of 
$25,000 for the expenses of himself and his family, 
and the question of the length of his stay was to be 
determined by the amount of travel this sum would 
provide for. During his absence, one of his sons 
had made fortunate investments for him in Cali- 
fornia, and added somewhat to the sum available. 
He thus acquired confidence in his son's business 
ability which had more tangible foundation than 
mere parental fondness. In New York this son had 
entered into partnership with a Wall Street broker 
named Ferdinand Ward, who had the reputation of 
being a " Napoleon of finance," and who soon car- 
ried out the simile by his passage from power to a 


442 Ulysses S. Grant. [1880- 

prison. While the firm of " Grant & Ward ' con- 
tinued, Ward contrived, by arts familiar to the 
designing, to create a fictitious display of prosperity 
that completely deceived General Grant, whose own 
methods were so direct that he had great difficulty 
in following the tortuous ways of the dishonest, 
lie was not a shrewd man in a worldly sense. In 
matters that he understood his judgment was clear, 
and he reached sound conclusions with a certainty 
akin to perception. But he was easily misled where 
he depended upon the conclusions of others ; his 
mind moved in straight lines, and he had but little 
discernment concerning devious methods. P'ulsome 
praise was distasteful to him, but he was not insen- 
sible to that subtle flattery which betrays a man by 
making him think that his weakness is his strength, 
and that his seeming incapacity is merely ignorance 
of his own untried powers. 

It is often the case- with great men that they 
undervalue the accomplishment which comes so 
naturally, through the orderly operation of their 
intellectual faculties, that it does not reveal to their 
self-consciousness their own superiority. What is 
difficult of attainment seems the most precious, and 
accomplishment is measured, not so much by re- 
sults, as by the degree of labour attending it. No 
one could flatter Grant by calling him a great sol- 
dier, and he had a strong aversion to discuss his 
campaigns in any personal sense. But when a Wall 
Street sharper sought to persuade him that he and 
his sons were great financiers, or, at least, that his 
sons were, he found a listening ear. 

1885] " Fortunes Sharpe A dver site." 443 

In November, 1880, General Grant, supposing that 
he was assuming the position of a special partner, was 
persuaded to invest in the firm of Grant & Ward all 
that he had, including the property of his wife. He 
had been given a house in Philadelphia, another in 
Washington, one in New York, a cottage at Long 
Branch, and a house in Galena, Illinois. These, 
with the various odds and ends of a fortune accu- 
mulated during his lifetime, made up a total of 
some $190,000, all of which disappeared with the 
assets of Grant & Ward, who speedily became bank- 
rupt. He was, moreover, indebted to Mr. William 
H. Vanderbilt for $150,000, borrowed on his per- 
sonal responsibility to tide over what seemed to be 
only a temporary crisis in the affairs of his firm. 
When difficulties came, the attempt was made to 
hold him responsible, as a general partner, for the 
firm's liabilities. The revelation of Ward's trans- 
actions showed him, too, what he had not known 
before, that extensive use had been made of his 
reputation to mislead investors, by means of those 
whispered conferences behind closed doors, so com- 
mon in business transactions, especially where they 
are not legitimate. By skilful appeals to cupidity, 
Ward had succeeded in deceiving men of far greater 
acumen than General Grant, who, as a special part- 
ner, found no occasion to inquire into the details of 
the business, even if he could have understood 

When the crash came, General Grant felt that 
everything had gone down in a general wreck — for- 
tune, fame, the confidence and good opinion of his 

444 Ulysses S. Grant. [1880 

fellow-men. He had passed through many humilia- 
tions, but this was the sorest trial of all. He could 
have parted with his fortune without complaint, but 
there was the bitterness of feeling, that while he had 
himself been deceived, others had been misled by 
his apparent participation, if not acquiescence, in 
schemes for gain which his soul abhorred. His per- 
sonal obligation to Mr. Yanderbilt he endeavoured to 
meet by turning over to him the valuable collection 
of souvenirs accumulated in part during his official 
career, and esp< cially during his travels in Europe. 
His creditor would have cheerfully and gladly can- 
celled the obligation, but General Grant would not 
listen to such a proposition. And when, in a gen- 
erous spirit, Mr. Yanderbilt persisted in transferring 
the property to Mrs. Grant, subject to its final 
transfer to the Government, she insisted that this 
transfer should take effect at once. On February 
3, 1885, President Arthur sent a message to the 
House of Representatives calling attention to Mrs. 
Grant's offer to transfer these historical relics to the 
Government M as set forth in the accompanying 
papers.'* In his message, the President said: 

M The nature of this gift and the value of the relics which the 
generosity of a private citizen, joined to the highest sense of public 
regard which animates Mrs. Grant, have thus placed at the disposal 
of the Government, demand full and signal recognition on behalf of 
the Nation at the hands of its representatives. I therefore ask Con- 
gress to take suitable action to accept the trust, and to provide for its 
secure custody, at the same time recording the appreciative gratitude 
of the people of the United States to the donors. 

11 In this connection I may pertinently advert to the pending 

1885] " Fortunes Sharpe Adversite" 445 

legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives looking to a 
national recognition of General Grant's eminent services by provid- 
ing the means for his restoration to the Army on the retired list. 
That Congress by taking such action will give expression to the 
almost universal desire of the people of this Nation is evident, and 1 
earnestly urge the passage of an act similar to Senate bill No. 2,530 
which, while not interfering with the constitutional prerogative of 
appointment, will enable the President in his discretion to nominate 
General Grant as General on the retired list." 

The articles deeded included the swords, paint- 
ings, bronzes, commissions, formal written addresses, 
and objects of art, presented by various Govern- 
ments to General Grant ; his army and corps badges, 
his numerous military commissions; his badges of 
membership in the Military Order of the Loyal 
Legion, the Aztec Society, and seven civil societies; 
resolutions and addresses innumerable, including 
the thanks of Congress, and his certificates of elec- 
tion and re-election as President of the United 
States. Among the articles was a Coptic Bible, 
presented by Lord Napier, who captured it from 
King Theodore of Abyssinia, and a complete set of 
Japanese coins, presented by the Government of 
Japan, the only one in existence, except that in the 
Japanese Treasury. These relics now repose in the 
archives at Washington — a testimony not only to 
the fame of General Grant, but to the high sense of 
honour that actuated him when overtaken by busi- 
ness adversity. 

In accordance with the suggestion of President 
Arthur in the letter quoted, the Senate, on Febru- 
ary 23, 1882, by a vote of 35 to 17, passed, after a 
long debate, an act authorising the President to 

446 Ulysses S. Grant. M880- 

place Grant on the retired list, with the rank of 
General. The bill passed the House March 3d, and 
the first official act of President Cleveland, after the 
nomination of his Cabinet, was to affix his signature 
to the commission of U. S. Grant as an officer on 
the retired list of the Army, with the rank of Gen- 
eral. This gave him as pay $13,50x3 a year. On 
the 8th of December, 1884, Senator Mitchell, Chair- 
man of the Committee on Pensions, had introduced 
a bill, granting a pension to General Grant, but this 
bill was withdrawn, as General Grant wrote, saying: 
M I understand the motive which has prompted this 
action on your part, and appreciate it very highly. 
But I beg you to withdraw the bill. Under no cir- 
cumstance could I accept a pension, even if the bill 
should pass both Houses and receive the approval 
of the President." It was proposed to raise a pri- 
vate subscription for Genera] Grant, and Mr. Van- 
derbilt offered to contribute a liberal sum. This 
offer was also declined. 

After the failure of Grant & Ward, the editors of 
the Century Magazine wrote to General Grant's sec- 
retary, offering a tempting pecuniary inducement 
for two articles by General Grant, and his neces- 
sities at this time determined him to accept the 
offer, though he was reluctant to engage in a field 
where he had not tried his powers. In a single day 
he had passed from the control of ample means to 
poverty, and but for a loan of one thousand dollars, 
which his friend Romero forced upon him, and an- 
other of five hundred dollars sent by a stranger, 
" on account," as he said, <k of my share for services 

1885J " Fortune 's Sharpe Adversite? 447 

ending April 1, 1865," he would have been without 
the means of meeting his household expenditures. 
Even Mrs. Grant's income from the trust fund of 
$250,000 failed at this juncture — some technicality 
of law temporarily suspending the payment of in- 
terest. So the opportunity to add to his income by 
the work of his pen was gladly accepted. Fame as 

an author he did not seek for or exoect. His sue- 


cess as such was, however, decided, as soon as he 
learned from editorial hints and suggestions what 
was required of him. It was a surprise only to 
those who did not know him, for he had always 
shown great facility as a writer, and he had a mar- 
vellous memory, seldom forgetting a date, a fact, or 
a face. 

At the time he commenced his literary labours, 
General Grant was suffering from serious illness, 
and this was aggravated by the depression of spirits 
resulting from mental distress. His body was in 
pain, and his mind was disturbed, less, however, by 
the contemplation of his own misfortunes than by 
the mortification and chagrin he felt that he had 
unwittingly betrayed others into losses for which he 
was powerless to make restitution. For this condi- 
tion, occupation with his literary labours, and the 
revival of the memory of happier days, gave some 

Encouraged by the favour with which his articles 
in the Century had been received, he was persuaded 
to prepare his two volumes of Personal Memoirs for 
the press, finding the work both profitable and 
congenial. These Memoirs remain as a testimony 

448 Ulysses S. Grci7it. [1880- 

to General Grant's skill as a writer. They will com- 
pare favourably with any similar work, not except- 
ing the Commentaries of Caesar, and surprised his 
critics by their high literary merit and their mastery 
of graphic description. They were his own work, 
some names and dates being all that were supplied 
by others. Until disease had destroyed his power 
of speech, they were dictated to a stenographer, 
and the final chapters were written on pads held in 
his lap, as he sat propped up in his chair, his nerves 
quivering with the agonising pains that gave no 
promise of relief, until death should come with its 
welcome release from bodily sensation. 

Written under such circumstances, and prompted 
as they were by a desire to leave some provision for 
his family, they are a noble evidence of the strength 
of Grant's affections, the clearness and force of his 
intellect, and his invincible determination of pur- 
pose triumphing over death. Mow eagerly they 
were received by the public is shown by the pay- 
ment of copyright to the amount of $200, 000 in a 
single check, and a subsequent payment of $240,000. 

A letter written by Grant when a cadet at the 
Military Academy shows unusual power of descrip- 
tion for a youth, and his public career later in life 
gave him great opportunities for cultivating his 
capacity for expression. He wrote his own orders 
and despatches in the field, his own Inaugurals and 
Messages as President, calling upon others only for 
the details of departmental administration. His 
style was easy and flowing; he was never at a loss 
for an expression, and seldom interlined a word or 

1885] The End. 449 

made a material correction. The evidence of this 
is found in the fact that most of his important 
papers are in his own handwriting, prompted by the 
suggestion of the moment " and sent off without 
emendation or change." The foundation of good 
writing is clear thinking, and Grant would neither 
write nor talk about subjects that he had not mas- 
tered. Bismarck said of him: " I saw at once that 
he knew his subject thoroughly, or else he avoided 
it completely." His official reports show a progress- 
ive advance in mastery of expression, and his report 
of the final campaign is a model of its kind, re- 
ceiving just commendation at the time as " more 
compact than Caesar, more lucid than Jomini, more 
pungent than Napier." Grant's conversations on 
his campaigns, during his trip around the world, 
though much less extended, rival in interest those 
of Napoleon at St. Helena. 

Up to the end of the year 1883, General Grant 
was apparently a man of unusual physical vigour, 
and though he was sixty-one years of age, he gave 
few indications of advancing years, being as strong 
as ever, if not so active. Returning to his home 
from a visit on Christmas Eve, 1883, he slipped on 
the ice as he alighted from a cab, and injured him- 
self so severely that he had to be carried into the 
house, having ruptured a muscle in the thigh, and 
suffering acute pain. For weeks, he was confined to 
his bed, an attack of pleurisy having followed a few 
days after the fall. As soon as he was able to move 
about on crutches, he went to Washington and 
Fortress Monroe, by the advice of his physicians, 


450 Ulysses S. Graiit. [1880- 

returning in April, with health sufficiently improved 
to enable him to attend the meeting of his old com- 
rades of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, 
though he was obliged to refrain from visiting. 

But a more insidious enemy was threatening his 
life. During the summer of 1884 he began to ex- 
perience unpleasant sensations in his throat. To 
these he paid no attention until October, when he 
was casually examined by a physician who was mak- 
ing a call, and advised to return at once and put 
himself under the charge of some well-known spe- 
cialist. His disease developed into cancer of the 
throat, and by December the General began to 
suffer the excruciating pains accompanying his dis- 
order. Even in partaking of the liquid food to which 
his physicians limited him, he was subject to torture. 

"For a while," says Radeau, in his volume, Grant 
in Peace } " he seemed to lose, not courage, yet a 
little of his hope, almost of his grip on life. He did 
not care to write, nor even to talk; he made little 
physical effort, and often sat for hours propped up 
in his chair, with his hands clasped, looking at the 
blank wall before him, silent, contemplating the 
future; not alarmed, but solemn, at the prospect of 
pain and disease, and only death at the end. It was 
like a man gazing into his open grave. He was in 
no way dismayed, but the sight was to me the most 
appalling I had ever witnessed : — the conqueror look- 
ing at his own inevitable conqueror; the stern soldier 
to whom so many armies had surrendered, watching 
the approach of that enemy before whom even he 
must yield." 

W8UC L»fc 

t885] The End. 45 1 

If General Grant could not conquer death, he 
did, with invincible determination, conquer despon- 
dency, accepting with resignation the fate that was 
inevitable. He resumed work upon his Memoirs, 
and continued it unto the end in spite of physical 
pain and weakness, and with the tiger-clutch of fell 
disease fastening upon his throat, and draining his 
life-blood. In spite of discomfort, he enjoyed his 
work, and it furnished such distraction as was pos- 
sible to him in his condition of hourly agony. His 
domestic affections, which were always strong, were 
awakened to increased activity, and he rejoiced in 
the thought that he was able by his own labour to 
provide for the future of his family. The tender 
offices of his loved ones, the prattle of his grand- 
children, and visits from old friends, furnished fur- 
ther distraction for his thoughts. 

But there was a wider circle of sympathisers 
gathered around the bedside of the dying man. 
Not only among his personal friends, but wherever 
his fame was known, there were tender thoughts of 
him ; and from all parts of the world came by tele- 
graph and post earnest inquiries as to his condition 
and prospects. Badeau, who was with him at this 
time, tells us that : 

" Whatever had been said or thought injurious to 
him was instantly ignored, revoked, stamped out of 
mind; under the black shadow of Death the mem- 
ory of his great services became vivid once more, 
like writing in sympathetic ink before fire. All the 
admiration and love of the days immediately after 
the war returned. The house was thronged with 

452 Ulysses S. Grant. 11880- 

visitors, old friends, army comrades, former cabinet 
ministers, senators, generals, diplomatists, on er- 
rands of inquiry or commiseration. A hundred 
letters and telegrams arrived each day, with pity 
and affection in every line. The soldiers all over 
the country were conspicuous in their manifesta- 
tions of sympathy — Southerners as well as North- 
erners. Army clubs and loyal leagues sent messages 
incessantly. Meetings of former Confederates were 
held to signify their sorrow. The sons of Robert 
E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston were among 
the first to proffer good wishes to him whom their 
fathers had fought. Political opponents were as 
outspoken as partisan friends, and the bitterest 
enemies of General Grant in the daily press were 
generous and constant in the- expression of their 
interest. Rivals in the Army like Buell and Rose- 
crans made known that the calamity which impended 
over the nation was a sorrow for them, because they 
were Americans. Mrs. Jefferson Davis more than 
once uttered kind words which were conveyed to 
the sufferer. The new Secretary of War of the 
Democratic Administration called in person ; the 
new Secretary of State sent remedies and good 
wishes. The new President despatched the Marshal 
of the District of Columbia from Washington to 
make inquiries. Ex-President Hayes and ex-Secre- 
tary Lincoln had called long before. State legis- 
latures voted their commiseration ; the Queen of 
England telegraphed her condolences, and little 
children from all parts of the country sent constant 
messages of affection and tributes of flowers." 

1885] The End. 453 

On July 16, 1885, the sufferer was removed from 
his residence in New York to the summer cottage 
of Mr. Joseph H. Drexel, situated on Mount Mac- 
Gregor, an elevation near Saratoga Springs, where 
purer air was to be obtained, and the quiet which 
the great city could not afford. Here General 
Grant continued to occupy himself in writing his 
Memoirs, as he grew weaker day by day. Speech 
so distressed him that he communicated with those 
about him only by writing. In the night of July 
21-22, his symptoms grew more alarming, and at 
8.08 o'clock on the morning of July 23, 1885, he 
quietly breathed his last. His family, who had 
hastily been summoned to his bedside just before 
this, were gathered about him as he passed away 
after an illness which had first become pronounced 
nine months before. 

Bishop Newman, who was with General Grant 
during his last days, describes the dying man as 
being in a state of spiritual exaltation, and exhibit- 
ing perfect mental serenity. The only murmur that 
escaped his lips in his hours of intensest agony was 
an occasional exclamation to himself, ' Oh, how 
I suffer! ' He was never interested in the contests 
of creeds or the subtleties of theology, yet he was 
in the highest sense a religious man. Throughout 
his life he had exhibited a trust in the Invisible 
Powers that was never shaken ; and a confidence in 
the Overruling Providence that shapes good, and 
seeming evil, alike to His purposes of mercy. This 
was signally shown during his last illness. 

The death of General Grant was followed by 

454 Ulysses S. Grant. [1880- 

numerous expressions of sympathy for his family 
from personal friends and from public officials, 
which truthfully expressed the National sentiment. 
President Cleveland issued a proclamation announc- 
ing the sad event. Similar proclamations were 
issued by the Governor of the State of New York, 
and by the Governors of other States. 

Various towns claimed the honour of furnish- 
ing a resting-place for the remains of the Nation's 
dead hero. He was born in Ohio, and was an 
adopted son of Illinois; Washington City claimed 
him because of her representative character as the 
capital of the Nation, ami New York because it 
was his home at the time of his death. In a mem- 
orandum handed to his son Frederick, a month 
before his death, he said: 

" There are three places from which I wish a choice of burial 
place to be made ; West Point — I would prefer this above others, 
but for the fact that my wife could not be placed beside me there. 
Galena, or some place in Illinois — because from that State I received 
my first General's commission. New York — because the people of 
that city befriended me in my need." 

After much public discussion, the question was 
finally determined by the decision of General Grant's 
family to accept an offer of a burial place in River- 
side Park, New York, on high ground overlooking 
the Hudson River. 

The body was embalmed, and on August 4, 1885, 
simple funeral services were held at Mount Mac- 
Gregor, under the direction of the Reverend Dr. 
Newman. On the same day a memorial service was 

1885] The End, 455 

held in Westminster Abbey, London, the funeral 
address being delivered by Canon Farrar, before a 
congregation composed of England's most notable 
citizens. After the services at Mount MacGregor 
the body was transferred to the custody of General 
Hancock, who had been designated by the Presi- 
dent to take charge of the military parade at the 
funeral. It was removed that day to the Capitol at 
Albany, where, during the long night, it was visited 
by nearly eighty thousand people, who were per- 
mitted to view the face of the dead hero. 

From Albany the remains were transferred to the 
City Hall, New York, where a still larger number 
of people, estimated at over 300,000, viewed them 
as they lay in state. On Saturday, August 8, they 
were removed to their resting-place in Riverside 
Park, accompanied by an imposing funeral pageant, 
and interred with appropriate ceremony ; part of 
this ceremony being the simple liturgy recited by 
Grant's comrades of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic. After reposing for nearly twelve years in a 
temporary tomb, they were, on April 27, 1897, re- 
moved with impressive ceremonies to an imposing 
mausoleum built by private subscription, which is 
the shrine whither thousands will journey annually 
from all parts of the world. 

When Grant was in China he expressed the hope 
that he might some day have the pleasure of a visit 
in the United States from the Viceroy Li Hung 
Chang. In 1896 the Viceroy came, but Grant was 
not here to meet him, and he sought the resting- 
place of all that was mortal of his friend. As the 

456 Ulysses S. Grant, [1880-85 

great Chinaman stood in reverent contemplation 
before the silent tomb of the dead warrior, and laid 
upon it his chaplet of flowers, the Americans pres- 
ent remembered how their hero had added to his 
achievements in battle the more blessed victories of 
peace, and how he had used his influence with the 
rulers of foreign peoples, and the leaders of foreign 
opinion, to hasten the time when the nations of the 
earth shall dwell together in accord. As they 
thought on these things, the most appropriate of 
all mottoes for his resting-place seemed to them to 
be the words he had himself uttered, and which are 
inscribed upon his tomb : 















Abbot, Henry I 

. lcinv, M llif ir\ . I ^ . 


- rrin.ui. A:: I 

Acouia ( ret k. Y.i. . 244 
\ >n a necessity with 

A.l.nn.. I . I 


A i ■ I - 

Alabama ( l.imi ■ 

Alabama, StaU of, Ii8, M 

Alfonso, Ki' 
Allatoona, ( it . 287 
Allen, Robert, 
Amelia C 1 1 . \ 
American ignorance of wrai 
Ames, Adelbert, ; 1 1 

Annum, 1 >an'l. . I int's 

life, 11 
Ammunition at Grand Gulf, 
Anderson, Robert H.. 93, <m. 

Anecdotes, 10, u, is, 1 -. 16, 19, 


82, S4. 135, 145, I 

178, 179, 181, 18a, 183, 185, 

198, 199, 20;. 204, i 

213, 22". - ,; -. 2(>4, 

285, 294, 296, 310, ;i2. 313, 

3«J J55. 


Annapolis, M<1.. 

River, Va., 

. Va. , J 1 I . 318, 

ion with 1 





- : 1 Irv- 
'1 !, 

Am :ve. ■ vital OTgUl 

Army in 

Am rthern Virginia. . 


3U. 3*ii : - 
Army *>f the Cumberland, 80, 
1 . ... i 115, 

Army of the James, So, 241. 269, 

Army of the Mississippi, 80, 

i()4 ; Confederate, 147 
Army of the Ohio, So, 133, 305 
Army of the Potomac, Bo, l8l, 

194, 196, 204, 236, 238, 239, 




Army of the Potomac (Con.) 
241, 242, 243, 245, 247, 250, 
253. 255, 256, 259, 261, 262, 
265, 267, 269, 271, 272, 273, 
274, 275, 276, 279, 281, 2S8, 
289, 304, 30S, 314, 321, 329; 
Cliques of the, 239 
Army of the Tennessee, 204, 

434. 435 ; Confederate, 217 
Army sociability, 25 
Army traders, Grant's opinion of, 

Army, Union, Cliques in, 240 
Artillery, 251, 252, 266, 267 
Art of War as written, 188 
Arthur, Chester A., 440, 445 ; 

quoted, 444 
Assaults, front, futility of, 276 
Atlanta, Ga., 147, 165, 217, 241, 
285, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 
293, 294, 295 
Augusta, Ga., 289, 301 
Austria, Emperor of, 426 
Averell, W. W., 272 
Aztec society, 43, 445 


Babcock, Orville E., 319, 377 
Badeau, Adam, 351, 450, 451; 

describes Grant. 2. 
Baez, Buena Ventura, 377 
Baker's Creek, Miss., 167 
Baldwin, Miss., 146 
Bancroft, George, 385 
Banks, N. P., 153, 168, 171, 176, 

187, 190, 191, 241, 273 
Barboursville, Ky., 218 
Barnard, J. G., 257, 300 
Battles and battle-fields of the 
Civil War (see also Forts, 
page 462): Antietam, 149, 
238 ; Averysboro, 302 ; Ball's 
Bluff, 92 ; Belmont, Mo., 86, 
87, 90, 91, 93, 95. 228 ; Ben- 
tonville, 302 ; Big Black River, 
156, 167, 168, 171, 187 ; Bull 
Run (First), 92, 129 ; (Second), 
I49» 238, 328 ; Cedar Creek, 

281 ; Champion's Hill, 167, 
170 ; Chancellorsville, 238, 
249, 251, 259; Chattanooga, 

120, 147, 191, 194-7, 199, 206, 
208, 210, 212, 214-18, 221, 
287-90 ; Chickamauga, 192, 

196, 201, 205, 208, 209, 211, 
213, 214, 270, 275 ; Cold Har- 
bor, 271, 272 ; Ezra Church, 
290; Fair Oaks, 149, 239: 
Five Forks, 308, 310 ; Frank- 
lin, 295, 296 ; Fredericksburg, 
238, 243, 244, 245, 266; Get- 
tysburg, 175, 189, 208, 239, 
257, 324, 328 ; Helena, Ar- 
kansas, 176 ; Holly Springs, 
Miss., 152, 153, 184, 188, 228 ; 
Tuka, 150, 205 ; Lexington, 
Mo., 92 ; Lookout Mountain, 

197, 200, 201, 202, 209, 210, 
2ii, 214, 216, 259; Mission- 
ary Ridge, 200, 201, 204, 205, 
208, 209, 210, 21 1 ; capture of, 
212 ; casualties at, 214 ; North 
Anna, 268 ; Pea Ridge, 177 ; 
Petersburg, Va., 274, 275, 278, 
280, 281, 301, 305, 307, 308, 
310, 311, 312, 332 ; siege of, 
277-283 ; Petersburg and 
Weldon R. R'd., 277; Port 
Gibson, Miss., 161, 163, 165, 
187 ; Port Hudson, 152, 191 ; 
surrender, 176, 177 ; Ray- 
mond, Miss., 165 ; Seven 
Days' Retreat, Va., 149; 
Seven Pines, 149 ; Shiloh, (or 
Pittsburg Landing), 117, 120, 

121, 122, 123, 124-140, 143, 
144, 145, 149. 231 ; Spott- 
sylvania Court-House, Va. , 
259, 260, 267, 268 ; Stone 
River, 154 ; Totopotomoy 
Creek, Va., 270; Vicksburg, 
Miss., 119, 147, 152, 153, 154, 

155, 156, 157, 158, 159, J 6o, 

161, 162, 163, 165, 167, 168, 

169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 

175, 176, 178, 188, 189, 190, 

191, 197, 198, 218, 235, 236, 



Battles and battle fields (Con.) 
251 ; siege and surrender of, 
152-189'; strength of the op- 
posing armies at, 153, 155, 156, 
162, 163, 165, 170, 171 ; Wil- 
derness, 250, 251, 252, 253, 
256, 257, 258, 260, 264, 272, 
297, 328; Williamsburgh, 149; 
Wilson's Creek, Mo., 86, 92 ; 
Winchester, Va. , 281, 305 

44 Battle in the Clouds," 209, 210 

Battles, number of, during the 
war, 1, 157 

Bayard, Chevalier, 323 

Bayous surrounding, Vicksburg, 

154, 159 
Bazaine, Marshal, 340 
Beauregard, P. G. T., 99, 102, 

119, 122, 125, 126, 127 130, 

132, 134, 140, 143, 145, 147, 

Belknap, W. W., 370, 402, 403 
Belligerent Rights for Cuba, 382 
Benecia Barracks, Cal., 50 
Bermuda Hundreds, Va., 269 
Bethel, Tenn., 122 
Big Hill, Ky., 218 
Birthplace of Grant described, 8 
Bismarck, Prince Von, 426 
Blair, Frank P., 61, 364 ; Mont- 
gomery, 61 
Blockade runners, 380 
Bloody Angle, Va., the, 263 
Blucher, Marshal, his obstinacy 

illustrated by Grant, 256 
Booth, J. Wilkes, 335 
Border States, neutrality, 85 
Borie, Adolph E., 369 
Boutwell, Geo. H., 369, 403 
Bowen, John S., 174 
Bowling Green, Ky., 96-8, 102, 

Bragg, Braxton, 55, 127,147, 148, 

150, 154, 194, 195, 197, 199. 

200, 202, 204, 206, 210, 212, 

213, 215, 216 
Branchville, S. C, 301 
Brandy Station, Va., 246 
Breckinridge, John C, 127, 131 

Bridgeport, Ala., 143, 196, 201, 

202, 203, 204, 205, 208 
Brinkerhoff, Jacob, 399 
Bristow, Benj. F., 403 
British welcome to Grant, 424, 

Brooks, Horace, 39 
Brown, B. Gratz, 398, 401 
Brown, Owen, 6 
Brown's Ferry, Tenn., 201, 202, 

203, 204, 208 
Bruinsburg, Miss., 156, 161 
Bryant, W. C, 399 
Buchanan, James, 61 ; R. C, 


Buckland, Ralph C, 125 

Buckner, Simon B., 88, 94, 97, 
103, 106, 107 

Buell, Don Carlos, 51, 95, 96, 
99, 102, 113, 114, 118, 119, 
121, 124, 132, 133, 134, 140, 
143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 150, 
151, 240, 452 

Burkesville Junction, Va., 306, 

Burnside, Ambrose E., 198, 204, 
206, 213, 240, 246, 252, 253, 
254, 255, 279, 327 ; his testi- 
mony to Grant, 3 

Burnsville, N. C, 150 

Butler, B. F., 185, 241, 260, 264, 
265, 269, 272, 274, 284, 285 

Buzzard's Roost, Ga., 286 

Caesar, 235 

Caesar, Jomini, and Napier, com- 
pared with Grant as writers, 


Cairo, 111., 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 
91, 94, 104, 117, T20, 149, 
164, 192, 193, 194, 197 

Camargo, march from, to Mon- 
terey, 30 ; march from, to Sal- 
tiHo, 35 

Cameron, J. Donald, 403 ; Si- 
mon, 436 

Campaign in Georgia, 285-294 



Campaigns of Grant and others 

in Virginia compared, 327-9 
Camp Salubrity, La., 28 
Canals at Vicksburg, 158 
Canby, E. K. S.. 241, 305, 334 
Cape Fear River, S. C, 302 
Carpenter, Funk B., quot e d, 23a 
Carpet-bag governments, 414 
< 'asualties, 1, 329; in Army of 
the Potomac, 238, 247, 255, 
264-8, 270, 271, 271), 181, 287, 
289, 290, 292, 295, 298, 302, 
308, 310, 314, ;r _ . 328 ; in 

French and GffllB battles, 


Cavalry, 1 ) >. 1 ;;. r 251, 

252, 260, 2M, 2' j-71 . 

282, 2 ,1, 2 .2 106, 308, 3FO, 


Charleston, S. C, 301, J 

Chattahoochee, (.1., 2S8, 290; 
River, 285 

Chemw, s. c, 

l-.i\ , Va., 243 

Chicago, 111., 4 

Children*! tribute to Grant, 434 

China, 424. 43". 4 u ; and Japan, 

Chinese, Grant's recommenda- 
tions concerning. ; 

Chnlmlongkorn, King, 4^1 
Church, I 1 lett, 


innati, O., 398 

Citico Creek, Ga., 202, 200 

City Point, Va.. : 

I administration deranged bf 

war, 40 > 1 
Civil-Service Reform, 403, 409; 

Inauguration of, by Grant, 

Clarke's Mountain, Va., signal 

tower, 253 
Clarksville, Tenn., surrender of, 

Clarendon-Johnson, treaty, 394 
Cleveland, Grover, 201, 437, 

452, 454 

Coffee and hard tack, soldiers' 

fondness for, 169 
Coffee Point, La., 161 
Cold Harbor, Va., 271. 272 
Colfax, Schuyler, 3(13, 368 
Coloured Labour Convention, 395 
Columbia Barracks, Oregon, 50- 

Colombia, S. C, 301, 302 
Columbus, Ky., 87, 88, 90, 91, 
<>2, 93, 95. 9&. 9 s . x °2, 148, 

C ; 2. 153, I03 

Command, division of, during 

war, 235 

Commissioners of Arbitration, 

9 M 

oatock, C. B., 222 

nitration, policy of, I94 

Conduct of War Committee, 279 

federacy divided, 242 ; its 

forces at Shiloh described, 
137 : flight of its government, 

331—333 ; priceein, during war, 

Confederate Cruisers, 380 

Comte ill- Paria, Ins opinion of 

( .rant. Il6 

. 221. 230, 342, 343, 

l, 340, 352. 3-3 ; (irant's 

relations to. 342, 344. 347. 

34w. 35-. 3' M ' : :l1 " 1 johnton, 

tes medals to 
(.rant, - 

Cockling, Roscoe, 436, 438 
Coosawhatchie. S. C, 301 

Henry L., describes 

(.rant, 17, 57 
Ion, military, surrounding 

1 nfedcracv, 1 ,4 
Corean difficulties, 386 
Corinth, Miss., 118, 119, 120, 

122, 124, 125, 127, 135, 143, 

145. MO, 147, 148, 149. I50, 

Corps, Army, consolidation of, 

246 (see Army Corps) 
Cotton bales for defence, 157 
Council of War, Grant's nearest 

approach to, 174 



Court of Inquiry on Burnside's 

mine, 279 
Cowardice at Shiloh, 141 
Cox, Jacob I)., 369, 370, 399 
Creswell, John A. J., 370, 403 
Criticism on Grant, Origin of, 

Crittenden, Thos. L. , 150 
Crook, George, 272 
Crump's Landing, Tenn., 122 
Crystal Springs, Miss., 167 
Cuba, 3S2, 384, 436 
Culpeper C. H., Va., 245, 246 
Cumberland Gap, 93, 195, 213, 

218 ; River, 80, 87, 95, 97, 

99, 103, 112 
Curtis, Geo. W. t 375 ; S. R., 


Cushing, Caleb, quoted, 388 


Dahlgren, John A., 294 
Dalton, Ga. , 201, 286, 287 
Dana, Charles A., 197 
Danish War, 1866, 291 
Danville, Va., 311, 312, 322,331 
Davies, Prof., testimony to 

Grant's ability, 18 
Davis, Jefferson, 82, 88, 202, 

204, 206, 299, 300, 302, 310, 

311, 342, 452; flight and 

capture of, 331, 333 
Decatur, Ga., 289 
Defence, advantages of, 242, 265 
Delano, Columbus, 370, 403 
Democratic action and policies, 

393, 399, 404 
Democratic Senators oppose 

arbitration, 393 
Dent, Fred'kT., 25, 26 
Department of State, 340 
De Shroon, La., 161 
Dickens, Charles, describes 

Cairo, 111., 89 
Dinwiddie C. H., Va., 30S, 309 
Dispersion, policy of, 148 
Dodge, G. M., 291 
Dominican treaty, 395 

Douglass, Fred'k, 395 
Douglas, Stephen A., 359 
Douthard's Landing, Va., 278 
Drexel, Joseph H., 453 
Drury's Bluff, Va., 265 
Durham, Lord, remark to 
Brougham, 375 


Early, Jubal A., 273, 274, 278, 

281, 282 
East Point, Ga , 290, 291 
Edmunds, Geo. F., 375 
Electoral Commission, 421, 436 
England and America, 389—394 
England's hostile course during 

our Civil War, 386-8 
Epictetus quoted, 56 
Etowah River, Ga., 2C9, 285, 

Evansville, Ind., 94, 96 
Ewell, Richard S. , his opinion 

of Grant, 18, 267, 314 
Executive acts performed away 

from Capital, 415-16 
Expenses of the war, 334, 336 

Fabian policy of Johnston, 289 
Fairburn, Ga., 291 
Farmville, Va., 314, 316 
Farragut, D. G., 153, 157, 217 
Fayetteville, S. C, 302 ; Tenn., 

Fetich worshippers, civilized, 410 
Field intrenching during the 

war, 123 
Fifteenth Amendment ratified, 

Fighting generals hard to find, 

Fishery question, 392, 393 
Fish, Hamilton, 370, 390, 402 
Florence, Ala., 118, 293-295 
Florida, State of, 333 
Floyd, John B., 103, 105, 106, 

107, 109 



Fog of War, 141 

Foote, Andrew H., q~, 98, 99, 

100, 104, 105 
Ford*s theatre, ■ 
Forrest, Nathan B., 109, 
126, 133, 1 5"- ! 55. 295 
I Donelson, Tenn., capture 
. 96, no, in. 1 12, 116, : 
129, 141 ; re>uks of. 1 ;~ . 

n, capture of, - 
I Heiman, 97, 101 
Fort Henry, Tenn., capture 
I suits of, 1 : 
Fort Hindman (Arkansas 

Fort 1 i 
Fort Tessnp, 
rt llcAU 

1 14. 244, 449 
. .n.. 90, 1 

• Wood. 
- - 
Fourth Infantry. 35, 41 . 
: int joii 
Franco- i War, 141. 

Fraternisation and 

ufederati 1 ) 

207. 324 
lerick the Gre.v. 
.ont, John C, - 86, 

French ignorance of war, 141 

nition of, - 

Fry of Grant's 

horsemanship, 10 

Galena, 111., 434, 435, 436 
Garfield, Ja:. 437 

Garita, a, described, 37 

Garland, John, 39, 45 ; testi- 
mony to Grant's ability, 45 
Gean-, J. W., 203 
General-in-Chief, purpose of 
Grant's appointment ab, 23s, 
Generals, complaining, described 

Lincoln, I 
Georgetown, O.. described, 8, 9 
Get 1] te of, 191, 216, 269, 

- ;3, 343 
Germany, treaty with, 385 

raltars of the West, c)0, 156 
Goldsboro, N. C, 302-305 
mes B., 25S, 
quoted, 318 

ip in the Army, 

If, If its., 156, 160-5, 


Grant rick D., 

Grant A., quoted, 263 

Grant. Mr>. I . >.. 25, 52, 424, 

■•>. 4-5 

Grant. S m, and 

motto, 5 


Gran i Li i 

-tors, 4, 5, 7 ; ' 1 irth, 

6 ; schooling, 9 ; family, 9 ; 
boyish bat- 

ing society. IO; love of ho. 
10, 1 1 ; e>cap< ;ng, 1 1 ; 

rustic influences, 1 1 ; future 
prophesied. 13 ; change of 
name, 14; enters Military 
Academy and becomes Sam 
Grant, 15; at Academy, 15- 
22 ; testimonials to his ability, 
18 ; romance, 19 ; artistic abil- 





Grant (Con.) 

ity, 19 ; illness, 20 ; gradua- 
tion, 21 ; classmates, 21 ; 
thorough education, 21 ; pre- 
sentiment, 22 ; assigned to 
Fourth Infantry, 22 ; at Jef- 
ferson Barracks, 24 ; love and 
courtship, 25, 26 ; seeks a 
professorship, 26 ; salaries re- 
ceived, 26, 47, 56, 62 ; at 
Grand Ecore and New Or- 
leans, 28 ; Corpus Christi, 28, 
31 ; plays Desdemona, 31 ; 
first battle, 31 ; in Mexico, 
31-33. 37-39; Adjutant 
Fourth Infantry, 32 ; quarter- 
master and commissary, 32, 
41, 47-51 ; ride at Monterey, 
33, 34 ; at Lobos Island, 35 ; 
marches from Vera Cruz to 
Mexico, 36 ; complimented by 
superiors, 39 ; dislike of staff 
duty, 41, 44, 45 ; loses public 
funds, 42 ; studiousness, 43 ; 
repugnance to bull fights, 43 ; 
joins Aztec Club, 43 ; remark- 
able and valuable young 
soldier, 44 ; at Pascagoula, 
Miss., 46 ; marriage, 46 ; at 
Sackett's Harbor, 46 ; diffi- 
culty with his superior, 47, 52 ; 
sails for California, 48 ; trying 
experiences, 48, 49 ; Benecia 
Barracks, 50 ; promoted cap- 
tain, 51 ; Indian experiences, 
51 ; farming ventures, 51 ; at 
Columbia Barracks and Fort 
Humboldt, CaL, 52, 53 : con- 
fidence in future, 53 ; resigns, 
53-55 I experiences of poverty, 
54-58 ; home in Missouri, 56 ; 
farming experience as a civil- 
ian, 57 ; real estate agent, 5S ; 
happy days of poverty, 59 ; 
seeks public office, 60 ; first 
vote, 61 ; custom house and 
tanner's clerk, 62, 63 ; deputy 
sheriff, 63 ; business man, 65 ; 
anticipates war, 65 ; presides 

at a war meeting, 66 ; reveals 
soldierly qualities, 67 ; de- 
clines appointment as captain, 
67 ; helps organise volunteers, 
67-69 ; clerk to adjutant-gen- 
eral, 69 ; visits St. Louis, 69 ; 
seeks position on McClellan's 
staff, 69, 70 ; offers services to 
Government, 71 ; appointed 
Colonel, 72 ; first duty, 74 ; 
commands sub-district, 75 ; 
skill in dealing with volun- 
teers, 76 ; brigadier-general. 
76 ; commands at I ronton 
and Jefferson City, Mo., Si ; 
reports to Fremont, 82 ; com- 
mands district of S. W. Mis- 
souri, S4; prompt methods, Si, 
84 ; seizes Paducah, 87 ; vig- 
orous action at Cairo, 90 ; at- 
tacks Belmont, 92 ; nearly 
captured, 92 ; command en- 
larged, 95 : eagerness for ac- 
tion, 95, 147, U8, 233 ; pro- 
poses to attack Columbus, 95 ; 
snubbed by Halleck, 99 ; cap- 
tures Forts Henry and Donel- 
son, 96-116; becomes " Un-^* 
conditional Surrender" Grant, ^ 
in ; difficulties with Halleck, 
1T3-116, 141, 189, 192, 229, 
280, 410 ; relieved of com- 
mand, 114 ; restored, 11S ; 
battle ot Shiloh. 1 16-144 ; in- 
jured by a fall, 133 ; conduct 
at Shiloh, 141, 142 ; in dis- 
grace, 141 ; change of views, 
143 ; forbids pillage, 143 ; 
narrow escape, 144 ; second in 
command, 144 ; asks to be re- 
lieved, 144 ; commands dis- 
trict of West Tennessee. 144 ; 
department of Tennessee, 
14S ; his methods, 14S, 150 ; 
at Iuka, 150 ; Vicksburg, 
152-1S9; unsuccessful move- 
ments, 15S, 160; runs batter- 
ies, 161 ; takes Vicksburg in 
reverse, 162 ; abandons his 



Grant (Con.) 

base, 163 ; Port Gibson, 165 ; 
takes Jackson, 166 ; Cham- 
pion's Hill, 167 ; Big Black, 
168 ; invests and captures 
Vicksburg, 169-176 ; courte- 
sies shown to prisoners, 176 ; 
his removal demanded during 
siege, 180; opposition, to 
army traders, 184, 185 ; treat- 
ment of negroes, 186 ; difficul- 
ties with McClernand, 1S7 ; 
injured at New Orleans, 191- 
193 ; commands Military Divi- 
sion of Mississippi, 194 ; battle 
of Chattanooga, 194-216 ; first 
meeting with Stanton, 197 ; 
physical sufferings, 198-218 ; 

, voted a gold medal, 221 ; 

^Lieutenant-General, 221; visits 

/ Washington, 221 ; received by 
President, 222 ; assumes con- 
trol as General-in-Qlief, 223 ; 
development as a great com- 
mander, 226-235 ; joins Army 
of the Potomac, 236, 246 ; re- 
organises cavalry, 245; 
strengthens discipline, 247 ; 
crosses Rapidan, 251 ; Wil- 
derness battle, 252-258 ; 
Spottsylvania, 260-265 ; North 
Anna, 268; Totopotomoy, 270; 
Cold Harbor, 271, 272; crosses 
James River, 274, 275 ; in- 
vests Petersburg, 277-283 ; in- 
terference of Stanton and 
Halleck, 2S0 ; extends his 
lines around Petersburg, 282 ; 
salutes Sherman's victories, 
292 ; anxieties, 296, 297 ; re- 
sult of Grant's command, 298 ; 
receives Peace Commissioners, 
299 ; holds Lee's army in a 
vice, 305 ; strength and losses, 
306 ; Five Forks, 309 ; assaults 
and captures Petersburg, 310 ; 
Richmond and Petersburg 
evacuated, 311 ; follows Lee's 
flight, 312 ; surrounds and de- 

stroys Lee, 313-14 ; corre- 
sponds with Lee, 315-19 ; 
surrender of Lee, 319-21 ; 
,Lee and Grant contrasted, 
322 ; magnanimity, 323 ,* 
visits Washington, 325, 334 ; 
losses in Virginia, 327-28 ; 
results accomplished, 326-31 ; 
meets Lincoln at City Point, 
332 ; visits Sherman, 332 ; 
final surrenders, 334 ; attends 
Cabinet Meeting, 335 ; nar- 
rowly escapes assassination, 
335 ; chief citizen, 341, 349, 
359 ; difficulties with Presi- 
dent Johnson, 341, 343, 347- 
8. 35 1 — 7 J protects Lee, 342 ; 
visits South, 343 ; visits North 
with President, 347 ; promoted 
General, 351 ; refuses to go to 
Mexico, 351-2 ; Secretary of 
War, 354-7, 371 ; termination 
of military career, 358 ; Resi- 
dential candidate, 359, 361 ; 
slandered, 362 ; nominated for 
President, 361 ; "refuses to 
canvass, 363-4 ; electe d, 365 ; 
inaugurated, 360; "qualifica- 
tions, 367-8 ; Cabinets, 368- 
370 ; distrusts politicians, 371 ; 
opposition, 371, 372, 375, 379 J 
opinions on public policies, 
379-84, 416-7 ; course toward 
Spain, 382-4 ; arbitration 
with England, 389-94 ; diffi- 
culties with Sumner, 394-5 ; 
relations to negroes, 395-6 ; 
success of first administration^ 
397, 398, 417, 418; financial 
administration, 416, 417 ; 
third term controversy, 418, 
419, 436, 437 ; Hayes contro- 
versy, 421, 422 ; retires to 
civil life, 422 ; perplexities, 
347, 423 ; travels abroad and 
honors rece ived , 423-433 ; re- 
ception on Pacific coast, 434-5; 
visits Mexico and Cuba, 436, 
439; moves to New York, 438; 



Grant (Con.). 
elected Railway President, 439 ; 
negotiates treaty with Mexico, 
440; misfortunes, 440-6; 
placed on army retired list, 
446 ; declines a pension, 446 ; 
writes his Memoirs, 446-9, 
451, 453 ; last illness, 447~53 I 
death and buria^ 453~6 ; 
monument in Riverside Park, 

Grant, Ulysses S., personal 
characteristics, 3, 7, 9, 10, 13, 
14, 16-20, 22, 23, 32, 33, 34, 

38, 43. 47, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 
59, 62, 63, 65, 69, 72, 75, 79, 
83, 84, 95, 115, 133, 142, 164, 
179-83, 198, 208, 219, 220, 
226, 235, 256, 264, 299, 357, 
358, 362, 365, 367, 376, 395, 
396, 401, 407, 409, 428, 429, 
434-6, 438, 440-43, 447, 448- 
9, 453, 456 J personal appear- 
ance, 9, 180, 219 ; as a tacti- 
cian, 256 ; skill as a writer, 
448-9 ; as a public speaker, 
16, 66, 365, 428-9, 434, 435 ; 
his worldly possessions, 438, 
441, 447, 448 
Grant, Ulysses S., quotations 
from his remarks, letters, 
and orders, 10, 17, 19, 22, 32, 
38, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 51, 
53, 59, 60, 62, 66, 70, 71, 73, 
75, 78, 97, 99, x °o> 101, 102, 
107, 109, no, 115, 121, 127, 
144, 157, 163, 169, 172, 173, 
175, 176, 179, 181, 182, 183, 
184, 185, 186, 188, 193, 200, 
204, 205, 206, 210, 213, 223, 
224, 227, 240, 244, 245, 252, 
263, 264, 266, 269, 271, 292, 
299, 300, 306, 309-22, 313, 
315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 
322, 323, 333, 335, 343, 356, 
358, 364, 365, 366, 368, 372, 
373-4, 379, 381, 384, 385, 389, 
393, 396, 402, 405, 408, 411, 
414, 415, 419, 421, 428, 429, 

434, 435, 440, 446, 453, 454 I 
quotations from his inaugurals, 
annual and special messages, 
368, 379, 38o, 381, 383, 385, 
389, 393, 402, 404, 405, 413, 
414, 415, 416, 448 

Graves at Vicksburg, 158-180 

Greeley, Horace, 398, 399, 401 

Green River, Ind., 96, 99 

Greensboro, N. C., 331 

Greysville, Ga., 213 

Griffin, Ga., 318 

Groesbeck, W. S., 399 

Guadalupe, Hidalgo, treaty of, 

Gunboats, use of, in military 
operations, 87, 91, 97-9, 100- 
105, 118, 132, 152, 156-8, 
159, 169 


Haines's Bluff, Miss., 156, 169, 

170, 171 
Halleck, Henry W., 55, 95, 96, 
97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 
108, 113, 114, 115, 116, n8, 
120, i2i, 126, 140, 141, 142, 
144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 
151, 163, 168, 171, 187, 189, 
190, 191, 200, 216, 229, 262, 
266, 269, 272 
Halsted, Murat, 232 
Hamburgh Landing, Tenn., 121 
Hamer, Thos. L., 14, 44 
Hampton, Wade, 277, 278 
Hancock, Winfield S., 254, 255, 
262, 263, 268, 274, 305, 354- 
Hanover, Va., 268, 269, 270 
Hardee, W. J., 127, 128, 302 
Harper's Ferry, Va., 231, 273 
Harrisburg, Pa., 239 
Haskins, Chas., 32 
Hatcher's Run, Va., 308 
Hayes, Rutherford JB., 420-422, 

Hayti, 395 
Hazen, W. B., 203 
Hoar, E. Rockwood, 369, 370, 




Hodges, Henry L., 55 
Holland, King of, 425 
Holmes, Theophilus H., 176 
Hood, J. B., 2S9, 290, 291, 292, 

293, 295, 297, 301 
Hooker, Joseph, 142, 196, 19S, 
199, 202, 203. 204, 209, 210, 
211, 212, 240, 259, 327 
Hornet*! nest at Shiloh, 121 

llovey, A. 1'.. 148 

Howard, O. O., 19s, 207, 209 
1 lughes, Thomas, 428 
1 1 ul^o, Victor. 426 
Humours of the battlefield, - 
Humphreys, A. A.. so6 ; quoted, 

Hunt, Benj. S., 37; ; 11. J., 

Hunter, David. s66, 272, 280 
I lunti-r's Point, Ifo. 
Huntsville, Ala., 143 
Hurlbut, S. A.. [10, 122, 129 


Illinc 454 

[ndianapoHs, Ind., 1 

Indians, army feeling toward. 

Indian^, ('.rant's treatment of, 

SIO, 41 1 

Inflation bill i\ 1 

[ngalls, Kufus. 

[ntrenchmenti around \\- 
burg, Length of, 2S3 

Ireland's prelcomc to Grant, 

Iron-cla ' I Vicksboxg 

batteriei described l>y Sher- 
man, 159 

Irwinsville, ( la., 333 

Island \ captured, 1 1 7, 

Isthmus canal, 4 1 7 
Italy, treaty with, 385 


Jackson, Miss., 162, 166, 167, 

James River. Va., 80, 233, 241, 

244, 274. 275. 27s, 2S1, 282, 
303, 30 s , 3"i 3'2 
Japan, 424, 430, 431, 432, 433, 

Jasper, Tenn., 198 

Jealousy, military. 232, 237 

Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 24-26 
Jefferson v/ity, Mo., 398 
Jefferson, Joseph, at Monterey, 
34 ; din mas, 416 

Jewell. Marshall, 403 

, t .rant's order against, 184 

Johnson, Andrew, 3 ■ , 341, 

.:, 377 ; impeai bment, 357, 

;■ J 
Johnson, Rererdy, 388 

Johnston. A. S., ■ III, 

II;. 1*3, I 14, It* 1 -•'•. 128, 

129. 130, lu, 133. 1 |7, 140, 

Johnstc a, Joseph 1'., I -4, 102, 
] 71 . j 1 7, 242, 265, 

28; 287, 288, 306, 307, 

312. 313. 331, 333 

Jonesboro, I <.\., 2,1 

Jones, Sam. 

Jordan, 1 homes, I .. 125, 132 

Kanawha River, Va., 80 
Kansas- M issouri disturbances, 60 
hen W. . 24 
inks Alabama, 39O 
Kelly'- 1 <:••.. Tenn., SOS, 204 
Kenesan Mountain, (ia., 287, 

-5, 86, 87, 88, 93, 

97- 1 17. a 
Kilpatrick, Jndson, 291 

Knoxville, Tenn., 120, 198,204, 

213, 215, 218, 257 
Kdniggrfttz, casualties at, 328 
Rung, Prince, 431 


Lafayette, Marquis de, 4 
Lake Providence, Miss., 158 



Lee, Fitzhugh, 277, 278 

Lee, Robert E., 43. I49» 1 75. 
195, 238, 240, 249, 252, 254, 
255, 259, 261, 262, 264, 265, 
268, 271, 273, 275, 281, 282, 
283, 2S5, 288, 295, 297, 299, 
301, 303, 300, 307, 309, 312, 
313, 323, 325, 326, 332; his 
opinion of Grant, 258 ; com- 
pared with Hood, 291 ; de- 
scribed, 322; surrender, 31 1, 
322, 334, 336, 337, 342 ; 
quoted, 285, 310, 316, 317, 
318, 319, 320, 321, 452 

Legs of the soldiers, 253 

Leopold 1 1., 425 

Leuthen, battle of, 228 

Lexington, Ky., 218 

Liberal Republicans, 39S-9 

Lick Creek, Tenn., 123, 126 

Lieutenant-General, grade of, 
221, 223. 

Li Hung Chang, 43T, 455 

Loring, W. W., 167 

Lost Mountain, Ga.. 287 

Louisiana, 162, 190 

Louisville, Ky., 96, 197, 198 

Lovell, Mansfield, 58 

Lowell, James Russell, 376 

Loyal Legion, Military Order of, 
198, 445, 450 

Lincoln, Abraham, 55, 95, 155, 
210, 215, 221, 222, 230, 292, 
297, 298, 332, 342 ; assassina- 
tion, 335 ; calls for troops, 66 ; 
opinion of Grant, 181, 186, 
231 ; quoted, 24S, 249, 280, 
292, 314, 368, 401 

Locket, S. IL, 169 

Logan, John A., 86, 145, 163, 

Longstreet, James, 195, 203, 

204, 207, 215, 253, 254, 307, 

318, 325 ; quoted, 309 
Loo Choo Islands, 431 
Lookout Valley, 201, 202, 204, 

Luck in war, Grant's opinion of 


Lynchburg, Va., 245, 272, 273, 

304, 3^5. 311 
Lyon, Nathaniel, 81 


McCall, Geo. A., 29-31 

McClellan, Geo. B., 38, 52, 55, 
69, 7 ( \ 82, 94, 95, 98, mi, 
113, 114, 115, 118, 142, 147, 
1 p, 149, 238, 240, 248, 257, 
271. 327, 32'). 376. y 

opinion of Halleck, 118; 

orders arrest of Grant, 1 14 
McClernand, J. A., 98, 100, 106, 

109, 122, 155, 161, 187 
M< < lonnell, Thomas R., 50 
M< kmlrv. President U. S., 336 
McKinstry, Justus, 82 
Mel a an, Wilmer, 319 
McMahon, Marshal. 426 
Mcl'herson, J. B., 123, 2S6, 289 
Macon, Ga., 290; Railroad, 291 
Madison, James, 370 
Mahan, Prof., testimony to 

Grant's ability, 18 
Mahone. William, quoted, 314, 

3 ' 5 
March to the Sea, 165, 293, 294, 

297, 298, 300 
Marietta, Ga., 2S7 
Marshall, Charles, 320, 321 ; 

James \\\, 403 
Material of war taken by Grant, 

92, 107, no, 1 75 
Mattapony River, Va., 262 
Mayfield, Ky., 9S 
Maysville, Ky., Academy, 9 
Maximilian, Archduke, 190, 339, 

Meade, Geo. G., 219, 239, 240, 

245, 246, 259, 261, 272, 275, 

279. 3o8, 313. 327 
Memphis and Charleston R. Rd., 

operations against, 119, 143, 

147, 150, 205 
Memphis, Tenn., 96, 118, 120, 

144, 146, 147, 149, 152, 153, 

155, 188, 1S9, 192, 204 



Mexican battle-fields : Matamo- 
ras, 30; Palo Alto, 30 ; Resaca 
de la Palma, 30 ; Monterey, 30, 
130, 227 ; Buena Vista, 35 ; 
Cerro Gordo, 36 ; Chapulte- 
pec, 37; Churubusco, 37 ; Con- 
treras, 37 ; Molinos del Rev, 
37 ; Siege and capture of Vera 
Cruz, 35 

Mexico, 36, 38,40,41, 339, 439, 
440 ; war with, 27-46, 403 

Milford Station, Ya.. 

Military Division <»f the Missis- 
sippi, 194, 241 ; of Missouri, 

1 <)7 
Military influence at the White 

1 loilsc, }~ I 

Military ( )r<lcr Loyal Legion. 

198, 445, 450 
Military reputations, factors ^f, 

Milledgerille and Millen, 1 

Milliken's Lend, La.. 1 

' ' 3 

Mine, Burnside's, 2" 
Mine Run, Ya., 959, 
Mississippi >.v 1 >hio R. R.. 11 
Mississippi, I20J opinion of its 

Supreme Court, 120 
Mississippi River, Bo, So, 
no, 122, 124, 143, 147. 1 

157, [58, 160, 

1 7, I--'. I 
13, 241, 242, 333. 334, 3' 
Mississippi Valley, area of, 177 ; 

river Ijstem, 17S ; Cairo, key 
to, 89 

•uri, 69, 74, 75. 56, 233 
Mitchell, O. M., 143, 147 
Mobile, Ala., 146, 1S9, 217, 241. 

305. 334 
Moccason Point, 201 
Monroe, James, 401 
Montgomery, Ala., 290 
Morgan, John H., 150 
Mormon polygamy, 416 
Morrill, Lot M., 403 
Morris Island, S. C., 302 

Mortars of wood at Vicksburg, 

Morton, O. P., 375 
Motley, John Lothrop, 394 
Mound City, 111., 94 
Mount MacGregor, N. Y., 453, 

4~ ; 
Mulligan, James A., Si 
Murfreesboro, Tenn, 112, 141, 

154. 194 

Murphy, R. C, 150, 153 ; sur- 
renders Iuka, 150; and Holly 
Springs, 153 

Music, Grant*i dislike of, 47 

Muskets, Confederate superior 

to Union arms, 175 
Mustering out troops, 339, 340 


Napier, Lord, 445 

Napoleon L, 34, 188, 231, 233, 

4*6, a > 
Napoleon III., 190, 339, 386 

Nashville. Tenn., 06, 112, 1 1 3, 
I lO, I 217, 2lS, 228, 

293, 295, 2 

117, Miss., 190, 241 
hitoi hes. La., 28 

>/, Wetkfyy quoted, 400 

Navy, 35. L7i. 34I1 2 '>°, 2 75, 
284, 285, 302, 312, 3S1, 421 

N eg ro es , references to, 1 7 1 , 172, 

185, 186, 34''. 
Nelson, William, I 13, 124 

1 Albany, Ind., 94 
New Madrid, Mo., S8, 90, 01, 

117. 145 

Newman, Bishop, 454-455 

New Market, Ya. , 2 

New Orleans, La., 192, 217 ; 

capture of, 152 
Newspaper attacks on Grant, 142 
New York, State of, 259, 436, 

Nickajack Creek, Ga., 288 
Nicknames given to officers, 220 
North Anna River, Ya., 268 
North Carolina, 284, 306, 339, 

343. 399 



North-western boundary dispute, 
39 2 -3 


O'Conor, Charles, 399 
Ogden, Richard L., 54 
Oglesby, Richard, 84, 91 
Ohio River, 8, 9, 10, 13, 80, 89, 

94, 96, 150, 295, 297, 454 
Ohio Valley, early settlers in, 4 
Old Grimes, 399 
Old Hundred at Vicksburg, 178 
Olmstead, Fred'k, Law, 399 
Oostenaula River, Ga., 285, 287 
Orange & Alexandria, Va., Rail- 
road, 244, 245 
Orangeburg, S. C, 301 
Orange C. H., Va., 246 
Orange Plank Road, Va., 251 
Orchard Knob, Tenn., 207, 208, 

Ord, E. O. C, 308, 313. 3i8, 

Ottendorfer, Oswald, 399 
Outpost duty, ignorance of, 133, 
138, 139 

Paducah, Ky., 87, 88, 90, 94, 

100, 120, 228 
Pamunkey River, Va., 270 
Parke, John G., 308 
Parker, Ely S., 321 
Peace negotiations, 298, 299 
Pekin Summer Palace, 432 
Pemberton, J. C, 155, 156, 162, 

166, 167, 168, 171, 172, 173, 

174, 175 
Pensions, decrease of, during 

Grant's administration, 407 
Peru and Chili, 384, 436 
Phelps, S. Ledyard, 118 
Phoenix, John, describes Cairo, 

Pierce, Franklin, 377 
Pierrepont, Edwards, 403 
Pike, Corporal, bold adventure, 


Pillow, Gideon J., 81, 88, 103, 

106, 107, 109 

Pine Mountain, Ga., 287 

Pocotaligo. S. C, 301 

Point Pleasant, O., 8 

Polk, James K., 376 

Polk, Leonidas, 86, 87, 94, 96, 

126, 127, 285 
Pope, John, 75, 117, 145, 147, 

149, 238, 305, 327 
Po River, Va., 259, 262, 268 
Porter, D. D., 152, 156, 159, 

161, 164, 169, 172, 284, 376, 


Porter, Horace, 251, describes 
Grant, 219 ; quoted, 325 

Port Holt, Ky., 94 

Port Royal, S. C, 266 

Portugal, King of, 425 

Postal improvements under 
Grant, 417 

"Potatoes and Onions" cap- 
tured Vicksburg, 1S3 

Potomac River, Va., 80, 244 

Powder Boat, Experiment, 284 

Prentiss, B. M., Si, 121, 12S, 

130, 131, 133, 135 
Price, Sterling, 91, 150, 151, 305 
Prince of Wales, 424 
Prisoners captured by Grant, 

107, no, 175, 210, 214, 337 
Provisions, price of, at Vicks- 
burg during siege, 178 

Pueblo de Los Angeles, Mexico, 


Rabbits and squirrels announce 
a battle, 125 

Railroad transportation, remark- 
able feat of, 196 

Raleigh, N. C,, 331, 332 

Rapidan River, Va., 245, 246, 
249, 253, 259, 275, 279, 327; 
passage of, 251 

Rappahannock River, Va., 244, 
245, 266 

Rawlins, John A., 66, 77, 79, 
84, 198, 222, 370 



Reconstruction, 344, 350, 352, 

367, 412, 413, 415 
Red Oaks, Ga., 291 
Red River Campaign, 190, 241, 

Repeating rifles used by cavalry, 

Republican Party, policies and 

action of, 363, 364, 400, 420, 

Resaca, Ga. , 287 
Review of Union Armies, 337-9 
Revolutionary settlers in Ohio 

Valley, 4 
Reynolds, J. J., 55, 57, 60, 66 
Richardson, Win. A., 403 
Richeson, Grant's school-master, 


Richmond and Danville R. R., 
306 ; Richmond and Fred- 
ericksburg. R. Road. 268, 272 

Richmond, Va., 207, 218, 238, 
239, 241, 243. 24S, 252. 200, 
265, 266, 26S, 269, 270, 275, 
278, 282, 2S5, 287, 289, 1 
299, 300, 303 jo6, 

310, 311, 329, 330, 332, 333. 
334 ; scenes at evacuation of, 

311, 312 
Ringgold, Ga., 213 

Rio Grande frontier, 339 
Riverside Park, N. V., 454, 

Rivers, influence of, in our war, 

Roads, bad, interference with 

military operations, 35, 36, 48, 

49, 97, 98, 2l8, 232 
Rocky lace Ridge. Ga., 286 
Romero, Senor, 439 
Rosecrans, W. S., 55, 145, 147, 

150, 151, 154, 190, 192, 194, 

J 95, '97, 198, 200, 202, 205, 

208, 214, 450 
Rothery, Mrs., friend of Grant's 

youth, 19 
Rough and Ready, Ga., 292 
Rules of war non-existent, 233 
Russell, Earl, 387 

Sadowa, Casualties at, 328 

Sailor's Creek, Va., 314 

St. Privat, Prussian Guards at, 

San Domingo, 376, 377-9 
San Francisco, Cal. , 433, 435 
San Juan Question, 392-3 
Saturday Club, Boston, 394 
Savannah, Ga., 119, 121, 122, 

1 J I. [30, 217, 293, 294, 300; 

Savannah River, 301 
Saxe, Marshal, quoted, 253 
Schofield, John M., 2S9, 296, 

302, 303, 305, 370 
Schurz, ( arl, 399 

!. Win field, 34. 36, 37, 221 ; 

contrasted with Grant, 22 
Scriptural names in Grant family, 


Sedgw u k, John, 261 

Seward, Frederick W., 377 ; \Y. 

II.. 223. 270 
Seymour, Horatio, 364, 365 
Sharpe, < ieorge H., 321 
Shenandoah Valley, Va., 241, 

244, 266, 268, 269, 273, 277, 

280, 303 
Sheridan, Philip H., 145, 195, 

212, 214, 219, 245, 2(x>, 263, 
266, 269, 270, 272, 277, 278, 
283, joo, 303, 3<A 308, 313, 
320, 326, 334, 340, 351, 354, 
383, 403 ; success in Shenan- 
doah Valley, 281, 283; quoted, 

213, 281, 314 

Sherman, William Teeumseh, 
57, 82, 94, 101, 119, 120, 124, 
125, 126, 128, 132, 133, 139, 
140, 144, 145, 152, 153, 165, 
169, 187, 188, 200, 204, 205, 

206, 209, 2IO, 211, 212, 213, 

215, 219, 236, 24O, 244, 265, 

269, 273, 285, 2S6, 2S8, 289, 

29O, 29I, 292, 293, 295, 296, 

297, 299, 3OO, 30I, 302, 304, 

305, 307. 326, 331, 332, 333, 

337, 339, 349, 35 *■ 37o, 403, 



Sherman, {Con.). 
421 ; campaign in Georgia, 
285, 294 ; first acquaintance 
with Grant, 15 ; Grant's cor- 
respondence with, when ap- 
pointed Lieutenant-General, 
224, 226 ; march from Savan- 
nah north, 300, 303 ; opposes 
Grant's plans at Vicksburg, 
163 ; testimony to Grant's 
greatness, 2 ; quoted, 303, 352 

Siam, 424, 430, 431 

Sigel, Franz, 216, 241 

Signal codes, deciphered by 
enemy, 174 

Simpson, Hannah, Grant's 
mother, 6, 7 

Slocum, H. W., 292 

Smith, C. F., 91, 95, 99, 100, 
106, in, 113, 114, 115, 116, 
119, 120, 121, 123 

Smith, Gustavus W., 55 

Smith, Kirby, 305, 334 

Smith, William F., 55, 202, 203, 
269, 274 

Smithfield, N. C., 331 

Smithland, Ky., 87 

Snake Creek Gap, Ga., 123, 130, 

Soldiers, average age of, 1 

Soldiers, number in Civil War, 

Soldiers' opinion of Grant, 247, 
248, 257, 258 

South Carolina, 301, 343 

South, condition of, after the 
war, 344, 348, 349, 350, 352, 

South Side Railroad, Va., 277, 

282, 306 
Spain and Brazil, 385 
Spain, difficulties with, 382-4 
Staff- and general officers in Mex- 
ican War obtain knowledge of 
topography from Grant, 43 
Stanton, E. M., 197, 248, 299, 

332, 354, 355, 356, 357, 3°3 
Stephens, Alex. H., quoted, 298, 

Stevens, Thaddeus, 344 
Stewart, A. T., 369 
Stone, Charles P., 55 
Stoneman, George, 290, 305 
Strength of Armies, 157, 285, 
286, 291, 293, 295, 296, 301, 
305, 306, 313, 326, 330, 334, 

33°, 339 
Stuart, J. E. B., 260, 265 
Sumner, Charles, 345, 375, 378, 

393, 394 
Supreme Court of U. S., 336 
Surrender of Confederate 

Armies, 101, 107, 175, 319-22, 

333, 334, 337 
Swedenborg, Emanuel, 228 
Sword presented to Grant, 216 


Taft, Alphonso, 403 
Tallahoma, Tenn., 194 
Taylor, Richard, 305, 334 
Taylor, Zachary, in Mexico, 27- 

3i, 33, 34, 35, 43 

Telegraphic despatches of Grant 
stolen by his operator, 113 

Tennessee River, 80, 87, 95, 97, 
98, 99, 102, 118, 119, 120, 
130, 148, 194, 195, 196, 198, 
200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 
208, 209, 215, 293, 295 

Tennessee, State of, 85, 94, 97, 
122, 124, 143, 147, 148, 190, 
191, 214, 233, 305, 306, 343 

Tenure of office acts, 354, 371, 
372 # 

Terrain in Virginia, peculiar 
character of, 242-244 

Territorial extension, Grant's 
opinion of, 417 

Territory held by Confederacy, 

Terry, Alfred H., 285, 303 

Texas, 190, 333, 334, 339, 350, 
365 ; annexation of, 27 

Thirty Years' War, 228 

Thomas, George H., 99, 134, 
145, 147, 148, 196, 197, 198, 
199, 204, 206, 207, 208, 209, 



Thomas, George H., (Con.). 

210, 211, 212, 213, 217, 219, 

286, 288, 293, 295, 296, 305 
Thomas, Lorenzo, 185, 186 
Thompson, Jeff., 81, 91, 334 
Thornton, Sir Edward, 390, 391 
Tilden, Samuel J., 421 
Tilghman, Lloyd, 101 
T. I. O. Society, 22 
Tod, Judge George, 6 
Torbert, A. T., 268 
Transports, army, run by Vicks- 

burg batteries, 159, 160, 161 
Treasury Department, army 

difficulties with, 184 
Treasury methods, improvement 

in under Grant, 408 
Treaty of Washington, 386-94 
Trescot, Wm. Henry, 440 
Tunnel Hill, Ga. , 201 
Tupelo, Miss., 146, 147 
Tuscumbia, Ala., 143 ; River, 

Tyner, James W., 403 


Ulysses, Grant's prototype, 7 
Universal Postal Union, 417 

Vance, John B., 399 

Vanderbilt, Wm. H., 443, 444, 

Van Dorn, Earl, 150, 153 

Venable, Charles S., quoted, 318 

Veteran Reserves, 273 

Veterans, admirable conduct of, 
336-7 ; feeling toward Spain, 
383 ; outrages upon, after war, 

Victoria, Queen, 424, 452 

Vining Station, Ga., 288 

Vionville, casualties at, 328 

Virginia Central Railroad, 268, 

Virginia, State of, 93, 189, 233, 

236, 238, 243, 291, 305, 306, 

311, 328, 329, 331, 339, 343, 


Virginius affair, 383 
Vollum, E. P., 180, 181, 
Volunteers, American, character- 
istics of, 72-78, 104, 127, 128, 
131, 132, 133, 135, 137, 138, 
140, 180, 200 


Wade, Benj. F., 360 
Wagner, Richard, 429 
Walker, F. A., quoted, 276 
Wallace, Lew, 103, 104, 106, 

125, 128, 132, 133, 134, 273 
Wallace, W. H. L., 122, 129 
Walnut Hills, Miss., 154 
War, Civil, theory on which it 

was conducted, 345 
War Department, 181, 263, 280 
War officially ended, 350 
Warren, G. K., 254, 261, 275, 

282, 308 
Warrenton, Miss., 155, 170 
Washburn, C. C, 221 
Washburne, E. B., 370 
Washington City, 241, 243, 244, 

245, 249, 266, 280, 285, 292, 

295, 299, 326, 330, 333, 336, 

338, 339. 345, 348, 397, 402, 

417, 449, 454 ; Early's attack 

on, 273 
Washington, George, 221, 416 ; 

opinion of Ohio Valley, 4 
Waterloo, Battle of, 438 
Weather conditions as affecting 

military operations, 30, 37, 97, 

101, 102, 105, 119, 122, 154 
Webster, J. D., 109 
Weitzel, Godfrey, 308, 311, 312 
Weldon R. R., Va., 282 
Wells, David A., 399 
Western Atlantic R. R., 286 
Westminster Abbey, Service in 

honor of Grant, 455 
West Point, N. Y., 228, 454 
Wham, Joseph W., 72 
Wheeler, Joseph, 196 
Whiskey frauds of 1875, 408-9 
White House Landing, Va., 270, 

278, 304 



White, John D., Grant's school- 
master, 9 
Wilcox, Cadmus M., 33, 55, 325 
Wilhelm I. of Germany, 392, 425 
Williams, Geo. H., 370, 403 ; 

Seth, 322 
Wilmington, N. C, 302, 303 
Wilson, Henry, 400 ; J. H., 305, 

Winter of 1863-4, accounts of 

217 ; of 1864-65, 283 
Wood, Thomas J., 134 
Worth, Wm. , 35, 39 
Wounded soldiers burnt in the 

woods, 255, 262 
Wright, H. G. v 261, 273, 307, 


Yates, Richard, 68, 90 
Yazoo Pass Expedition, 187 
Yazoo River, 154 
York River, Va., 244 
Yorktown Peninsula, 238 

248, 329 ; evacuation of, 149 
Young, John Russell, 227, 424, 

Young's Point, Miss., 155, 158 

Zollicoffer, Felix K., 93, 94 ; 

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Z. A Ragozin. 
S. Baring-Gould. 
Hjalmar H. Boycscn. 
E. E. and Susan 

Pre • 

Alfre | 


Stan ley 

GREECE. Prof. Jas. A. Harrison. 

ROME. Arthur Gilman. 

THE JEWS. Prof. James K. Hos- 

SPAIN. Rev. 





PERSIA W Benjamin 

PT Pr 



J I y 

ASSYRIA Z A Ragozin. 


TURKEY St.i:...v L.i-.-l' • .le. 


Z A Ragozin 





J. Church. 

Stanley Lane- Poole. 

D. Morrison. 
SCOTLAND. John Mackintosh. 
SWITZERLAND. R. Stead and 

Mrs A. Hug. 
PORTUGAL. H. Morse-Stephens. 


W. C. Oman. 
SICILY. E. A. Freeman. 

Bella Dully. 
POLAND W, R Morfill. 
PARTHIA G« >. Rawlinson. 
JAPAN. David Murray. 
SPAIN. H B Watts 

1 TRALASIA. Grevillc Tregar- 




riCB Sktbm Wiel 


and C L Kingd 

►IC INDIA Z A. Ragorin. 
:\ C B Maurice. 
CANADA I G Bourinot 


Andre" Le 


T Story. Tn 
THE PR an t. 

INDIES. Amos K. 


Justin McCart* . M I' Two 

AUSTRIA Vhitman. 

CHINA Rot* K D.-uglass. 

>BRN SPAT t Martin 

A. S. Hume. 

MODERN ITALY Pietro Orsi. 

Helen A. Smith Two vols. 

WA L E S A N I ) C( ) R N WALL. Owen 
If. Edwards Net S i . 3 5 

MEDI/EVAL ROME. Wm. Miller. 




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